Authors: Meinen A, Simon S, Banerji S, Szabo I, Malorny B, Borowiak M, Hadziabdic S, Becker N, Luber P, Lohr D, Harms C, Plenge-Bönig A, Mellou K, Mandilara G, Mossong J, Ragimbeau C, Weicherding P, Hau P, Dědičová D, Šafaříková L, Nair S, Dallman TJ, Larkin L, McCormick J, De Pinna E, Severi E, Kotila S, Niskanen T, Rizzi V, Deserio D, Flieger A, Stark K
Salmonella spp. is responsible for the majority of food-borne outbreaks in Europe . Between 15 March and 30 May 2016, the Greek National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella and Shigella (NRLSS) in Vari, a suburb of Athens, detected 16 Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica isolates with the antigenic formula 11:z41:e,n,z15 sharing an indistinguishable PFGE profile. This combination of antigens is not listed in the current ninth edition of the White-Kauffman–Le Minor scheme [2,3]. The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Salmonella at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, confirmed the antigenic profile 11:z41:e,n,z15 as a novel Salmonella serotype . The proposed name of the novel serotype is Salmonella Vari.
Initial epidemiological investigations did not reveal any apparent link between the cases . First cases had disease onset in March 2016, around the beginning of the Lent season of Orthodox Easter when various sesame products are traditionally served. Results of a case–case study provided evidence for tahini, a paste made from hulled, ground and toasted sesame seeds, being the most probable vehicle of infection in Greece. However, it was not possible to identify a single product trademark or a single place of purchase of the tahini. No food isolate had been recovered for testing.
Euro Surveillance : Bulletin Europeen Sur Les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin