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January 24 2023

The European Union One Health 2021 Report


Zoonoses are infectious diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans and are caused by harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. People may be infected by zoonotic microorganisms through direct contact with infected animals, indirect contact with the environment, and objects (fomites) or surfaces that have been contaminated by zoonotic agents. Other sources of infection, such as contact with, or bites from, arthropod vectors (vector-borne diseases) or consumption of foodstuffs, including water, contaminated by zoonotic agents (foodborne and waterborne diseases). 

Every year, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) analyse the collected data and prepare an annual report describing the occurrence of zoonotic agents in the different sources and the trends for zoonotic agents in humans, food and animals.

In 2021, the first and second most reported zoonoses in humans were campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, respectively. The third most commonly reported zoonosis in humans in 2021 was yersiniosis, a disease caused by Yersinia enterocolitica (or Y. pseudotuberculosis), which is generally associated with eating undercooked pork or vegetables. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections and listeriosis caused by L. monocytogenes followed Yersinia infection in terms of the number of reported cases. 

Controlling the presence of zoonotic microorganisms in food-producing animals is one of the most effective ways of reducing the burden of human illness. 

Merieux NutriSciences support

As a global partner for the food industry, Mérieux NutriSciences provides up-to-date data on food alerts and frauds, and supports companies to assure the absence of foodborne pathogens offering analytical, consultancy and auditing services.

Our microbiology laboratories offer high-level analytical solutions thanks to quick methods for the qualitative determination of foodborne pathogens and eventually plate quantification in CFU/g to control the microbiological safety of food products and preserve consumers’ health.

LINK to The European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report. EFSA and ECDC. Dec 2022

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