• Attribution of global foodborne disease to specific foods: Findings from a World Health Organization structured expert elicitation.

      Hoffmann, Sandra; Devleesschauwer, Brecht; Aspinall, Willy; Cooke, Roger; Corrigan, Tim; Havelaar, Arie; Angulo, Frederick; Gibb, Herman; Kirk, Martyn; Lake, Robin; et al. (2017)
      Recently the World Health Organization, Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) estimated that 31 foodborne diseases (FBDs) resulted in over 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths worldwide in 2010. Knowing the relative role importance of different foods as exposure routes for key hazards is critical to preventing illness. This study reports the findings of a structured expert elicitation providing globally comparable food source attribution estimates for 11 major FBDs in each of 14 world subregions.
    • PulseNet International: Vision for the implementation of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for global food-borne disease surveillance.

      Nadon, Celine; Van Walle, Ivo; Gerner-Smidt, Peter; Campos, Josefina; Chinen, Isabel; Concepcion-Acevedo, Jeniffer; Gilpin, Brent; Smith, Anthony M; Man Kam, Kai; Perez, Enrique; et al. (2017)
      PulseNet International is a global network dedicated to laboratory-based surveillance for food-borne diseases. The network comprises the national and regional laboratory networks of Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States. The PulseNet International vision is the standardised use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to identify and subtype food-borne bacterial pathogens worldwide, replacing traditional methods to strengthen preparedness and response, reduce global social and economic disease burden, and save lives. To meet the needs of real-time surveillance, the PulseNet International network will standardise subtyping via WGS using whole genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST), which delivers sufficiently high resolution and epidemiological concordance, plus unambiguous nomenclature for the purposes of surveillance. Standardised protocols, validation studies, quality control programmes, database and nomenclature development, and training should support the implementation and decentralisation of WGS. Ideally, WGS data collected for surveillance purposes should be publicly available, in real time where possible, respecting data protection policies. WGS data are suitable for surveillance and outbreak purposes and for answering scientific questions pertaining to source attribution, antimicrobial resistance, transmission patterns, and virulence, which will further enable the protection and improvement of public health with respect to food-borne disease.