An increase in the number of human isolates of Salmonella virchow phage type (PT) 26 in England and Wales during 1994 was investigated. A national case control study was conducted which included 88 cases and 182 controls. The cases were mostly young adults (median age 26) and 13 (15%) were admitted to hospital. Acquisition of S. virchow PT 26 was associated with the consumption of any chicken (OR 2.5, CI 1.1-5.8), of chicken curry from restaurants and take aways (OR 2.9, CI 1.4-6.1), and of some other diverse types of pre-prepared chicken (OR 3.8, CI 1.9-7.6). Halal chicken was associated (P = 0.006) with illness in a subset. There were negative associations with contact with animals (OR 0.47, CI 0.23-0.95) and with the consumption of chicken cooked whole (OR 0.37, CI 0.21-0.66). The increase in S. virchow PT 26 may be due to changing epizoology and may be an indicator of what will become the dominant salmonella strain in poultry in future years. The increasing incidence of S. virchow PT 26 is of particular concern because of its association with more invasive disease in humans.
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.