Listeriosis, 72 cases “but there is no alarm”

Agrimi (Iss): “In the coming weeks we expect no other infections, we will see if the measures taken have achieved the goal”

I’m “72 cases of listeriosis in Italy linked to the outbreak sustained by the St 155 strain”. But “there is no alarm“, the monitoring and control systems seem to have worked well,” the probable source of infection was quickly identified, namely the sausages withdrawn from the market in September. The signs we have suggest that, having eliminated the possible source, it should have controlled, we hope, the spread. “Umberto Agrimi, director of the safety, nutrition and veterinary public health department of the Higher Institute of Health explains this to Adnkronos Salute.” It is still too early to say, it is important to continue to monitor the progress of cases to verify if the actions taken, with the recall of potential contaminated products from the market, have led to the result. In the coming weeks we should see the progressive extinction of the outbreak “.

“This specific epidemic supported by St 155 – specifies Agrimi – has aroused attention in public opinion, producers and control activities. But we must also remember that listeriosis is an infection that we already know. It is an important disease in ‘ food safety is one of the most serious problems encountered both in the production and in the home management of food. The reports we see these days, however, that come from gorgonzola or pan cake, are attributable to cases of contamination which, every year, they are registered in the ordinary control and surveillance activities. If there had not been the epidemic from St 155 they probably would have gone a little unnoticed by the public and the media “.

“These cases – emphasizes Agrimi – are only proof that surveillance works. And the outbreak itself, hopefully dormant, demonstrates the control system’s ability to react”.

Normally, in fact, he remembers, “every year we have from 60 to 80 cases of listeriosis. The 72 cases linked to the St155 strain are more, compared to the ordinary, belong to a well-circumscribed outbreak”, and “since listeriosis is a disease that it generally has a rather benign path, with short-lasting gastrointestinal symptoms, most of the time it is not notified. The risks – he underlines – are for frail patients or for pregnant women who may have major problems for the fetus, from abortion to serious harm “, concludes the expert, recalling how this phenomenon also highlights the importance of a ‘One Health’ approach to health and how” the medical-veterinary sector of controls and that of human health have collaborated and collaborate effectively”.