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Incidence, distribution, seasonality, and demographic risk factors of Salmonella Enteritidis human infections in Ontario, Canada, 2007–2009

Csaba Varga12*, David L Pearl1, Scott A McEwen1, Jan M Sargeant13, Frank Pollari4 and Michele T Guerin1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

2 Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Guelph, ON, N1G 4Y2, Canada

3 Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

4 Centre for Foodborne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, ON, N1H 8J1, Canada

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:212  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-212

Published: 10 May 2013



In Canada, surveillance systems have highlighted the increasing trend of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) human infections. Our study objectives were to evaluate the epidemiology of S. Enteritidis infections in Ontario using surveillance data from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009.


Annual age-and-sex-adjusted incidence rates (IRs), annual and mean age-adjusted sex-specific IRs, and mean age-and-sex-adjusted IRs by public health unit (PHU), were calculated for laboratory-confirmed S. Enteritidis cases across Ontario using direct standardization. Multivariable Poisson regression with PHU as a random effect was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of S. Enteritidis infections among years, seasons, age groups, and sexes.


The annual age-and-sex-adjusted IR per 100,000 person-years was 4.4 [95% CI 4.0-4.7] in 2007, and 5.2 [95% CI 4.8-5.6] in both 2008 and 2009. The annual age-adjusted sex-specific IRs per 100,000 person-years ranged from 4.5 to 5.5 for females and 4.2 to 5.2 for males. The mean age-adjusted sex-specific IR was 5.1 [95% CI 4.8-5.4] for females and 4.8 [95% CI 4.5-5.1] for males. High mean age-and-sex-adjusted IRs (6.001-8.10) were identified in three western PHUs, one northern PHU, and in the City of Toronto. Regression results showed a higher IRR of S. Enteritidis infections in 2009 [IRR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.06-1.32; P = 0.003] and 2008 [IRR = 1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.31; P = 0.005] compared to 2007. Compared to the fall season, a higher IRR of S. Enteritidis infections was observed in the spring [IRR = 1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.29; P = 0.040]. Children 0–4 years of age (reference category), followed by children 5–9 years of age [IRR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.52-0.78; P < 0.001] had the highest IRRs. Adults ≥ 60 years of age and 40–49 years of age [IRR = 0.31, 95% CI 0.26-0.37; P < 0.001] had the lowest IRRs.


The study findings suggest that there was an increase in the incidence of S. Enteritidis infections in Ontario from 2007 to 2008–2009, and indicate seasonal, demographic, and regional differences, which warrant further public health attention.

Salmonella enteritidis; Incidence; Poisson regression; Mixed model; Direct standardization; Demographic risk factors; Ontario; Canada