Table_2_Rapid Multilateral and Integrated Public Health Response to a Cross-City Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Combining Analytical, Molecular, and Genomic Epidemiological Analysis.xlsx
On September 21, 2019, the Shenzhen and Dongguan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received notification of a large cluster of suspected gastroenteritis involving primarily children who sought medical care at hospitals throughout two adjacent cities in China, Shenzhen, and Dongguan. A joint outbreak response was promptly initiated across jurisdictions in a concerted effort between clinical microbiologists, epidemiologists, and public health scientists. Concurrently, multiplex PCRs were used for rapid laboratory diagnosis of suspected cases; epidemiological investigations were conducted to identify the outbreak source, complemented by near real-time multicenter whole-genome analyses completed within 34 h. Epidemiological evidence indicated that all patients had consumed egg sandwiches served on September 20 as snacks to children and staff at a nursery in Dongguan, located near Shenzhen. Salmonella Enteritidis was isolated from case-patients, food handlers, kitchenware, and sandwiches with kitchen-made mayonnaise. Whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a well-supported cluster with pairwise distances of ≤1 SNP between genomes for outbreak-associated isolates, providing the definitive link between all samples. In comparison with historical isolates from the same geographical region, the minimum pairwise distance was >14 SNPs, suggesting a non-local outbreak source. Genomic source tracing revealed the possible transmission dynamics of a S. Enteritidis clone throughout a multi-provincial egg distribution network. The efficiency and scale with which multidisciplinary and integrated approaches were coordinated in this foodborne disease outbreak response was unprecedented in China, leading to the timely intervention of a large cross-jurisdiction Salmonella outbreak.