May 18, 2023
New Study about Epidemiology of Salmonellosis Among Infants
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in Pediatrics highlights how infants continue to experience illness and death from nontyphoidal Salmonella infection (salmonellosis). The study uses data from 1968–2015 to describe characteristics of gastroenteritis, bacteremia, and meningitis caused by salmonellosis among infants in the United States.

Key Findings from the Study:
  • Serotype Heidelberg caused the most invasive infections among infants.
  • Infants with meningitis were younger than those with bacteremia or gastroenteritis.
  • Black and Asian infants have higher rates of invasive Salmonella infections than White infants.
  • Incidence of each syndrome has gradually increased since the mid-2000s.
Little is known about the relative importance of sources or factors that contribute to Salmonella infections among infants in the United States. Infants and other young children have developing immune systems, so they are more likely to get sick from a Salmonella infection than people in other age groups. Infants who are not breastfed are also more likely to get a Salmonella infection. Many infants are probably exposed to Salmonella in the home and might become infected in the same ways as other family members, including through consumption of contaminated food, contact with contaminated surfaces, or contact with ill family members. 

Because food is the major source of salmonellosis for the general population, the most effective control measure for infection of infants might be to decrease Salmonella contamination of food. Further research into modifiable risk factors is needed to inform prevention efforts. 

Healthcare providers can refer parents with young children to "What You Need to Know about Salmonella and Food" for more information. 

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