ECDC and EFSA publishes 2019 zoonoses report

02 March 2021

Article: 55/0905

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have published the EU one health zoonoses report for 2019. The first and second most reported zoonoses in humans were campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, respectively, with the EU trend for confirmed human cases of these two diseases being stable from 2015 to 2019. Campylobacteriosis, which has been the most reported gastrointestinal disease in EU since 2005, affected more than 220,000 people in 2019, while salmonellosis, the second most reported zoonotic disease in the EU, affected around 88,000 people.

The next most reported diseases were Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, yersiniosis and listeriosis. The trend of confirmed human cases of listeriosis was stable from 2015 to 2019, after a long period of increase. There were 2,621 cases reported in 2019, mainly affecting people over 64 years old, and was the most severe zoonotic disease, with high rates of hospitalisation (92%) and fatality (17.6%).

The report also monitors the cause of foodborne disease outbreaks in the EU, events during which at least two people contract the same illness from the same contaminated food. Salmonella remained the most frequently detected agent, causing 926 outbreaks, but the number of outbreaks due to S. Enteritidis decreased. The most common sources of salmonellosis outbreaks were eggs and egg products. Noroviruses in fish and fishery products caused the highest number (145) of outbreaks that have strong evidence implicating a food source. A total of 5,175 foodborne outbreaks were reported in 2019, a decrease of 12.3% compared to 2018.

The report also includes data on Mycobacterium bovis/caprae, Brucella, Yersinia, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Toxoplasma gondii, rabies, Q fever, West Nile virus and tularaemia. 

Sources: ECDC, 25 February 2021 and EFSA, 25 February 2021