Assessing potential determinants of the stagnating trend in Salmonella Enteritidis human infections in Europe and options for intervention: A multi-criteria decision analysis.

Linda Chanamé Pinedo*, Nina Van Goethem, Panagiotis Mallioris, Ewa Pacholewicz, Roan Pijnacker, Eelco Franz, Lapo Mughini-Gras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: After years of significant decline, the incidence of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (SE) human infections in Europe has started stagnating in recent years. The reasons for this stagnation remain largely unclear and are possibly multifactorial and interconnected in nature. We assessed and ranked several potential determinants of the stagnating SE trend in Europe, as well as different options for intervention at the level of poultry health and production, public health (infra)structure, and pathogen biology.

METHODS: A Multi-Criteria Decision-Analysis (MCDA) approach based on the Analytical Hierarchy Process was used. Through two separate surveys, a European panel of Salmonella experts first provided weights for several pre-defined criteria and subsequently scored different potential determinants and options for intervention (i.e. alternatives) against the criteria, during 2020-21. The weighting and scoring were based on Saaty's pairwise comparisons. The final ranking of the alternatives was derived from the summation of the products of each criterion weight with the score of the corresponding alternative. Sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the impact of different methodological choices, including European regions, and domains of expertise on the ranking of the determinants and options for intervention.

RESULTS: The first and second-ranked determinants of the stagnated trend in human SE infections were related to poultry health and production, namely "inadequacies of sampling programmes" and "premature relaxation of control measures". This ranking agreed with the ranking of the options for intervention, which were also those at the poultry health and production level, specifically "stricter biosecurity", "improving sampling", and "better/increased vaccination". Differences in rankings were observed among European regions and domains of expertise.

CONCLUSIONS: The rankings of potential determinants and options for intervention for the stagnating SE trend in Europe pointed to the level of poultry health and production. Salmonella-control activities in poultry in Europe are harmonized across countries since many years, but the results of this study suggest that further improvements may be necessary for some countries. A multidisciplinary collaboration among veterinarians, public health professionals, and microbiologists is needed to further understand the origins of the stagnating SE trend and to identify effective interventions in order to reverse the trend, contextually in a given country, following a One Health approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100535
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalOne Health
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

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