An oyster-associated hepatitis A outbreak in France in 2007

Type Article
Date 2009-03
Language English
Author(s) Guillois-Becel Y.1, Couturier E.2, Le Saux Jean-Claude3, Roque-Afonso A. M.4, Le Guyader Soizick3, Le Goas A.5, Pernes J.5, Le Bechec S.5, Briand A.1, Robert C.5, Dussaix E.4, Pommepuy Monique3, Vaillant V.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : CIRE, W Interreg Epidemiol Unit, Rennes, France.
2 : French Inst Publ Hlth Surveillance, InVS, Dept Infect Dis, St Maurice, France.
3 : Lab Microbiol Brest & Nantes, French Res Inst Exploitat Sea, IFREMER, Brest, France.
4 : Hop Paul Brousse, Natl Reference Ctr Hepatitis A Virus, CNR, Villejuif, France.
5 : Local Hlth & Social Serv Off Cotes Armor Dist, St Brieuc, France.
Source Eurosurveillance (1560-7917) (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), 2009-03 , Vol. 14 , N. 10 , P. 1-6
WOS© Times Cited 33
Abstract Following the notification of nine hepatitis A cases clustered in the Cotes d'Armor district in northwestern France, epidemiological, environmental and microbiological investigations were set up in order to identify the source and vehicle of contamination and implement control measures. In total, 111 cases were identified in the outbreak, all of whom lived or had stayed as tourists in the Cotes d'Armor district. Of the cases, 87% had eaten raw shellfish, and 81% specifically oysters. Traceback investigations carried out on raw shellfish consumed by the cases showed that the raw shellfish originated from a single shellfish farm. The shellfish were probably contaminated either in the submersible tanks or in a depuration land-based tank where they were stored. The source of contamination was not identified but shellfish could have been tainted by sewage overflows or by wastewater releases from a polluted storm sewer close to the shellfish farm or from on-site sanitation facilities. To prevent future hepatitis A outbreaks due to shellfish consumption from this area, hazards specific to each farm should be analysed. Timely information on sewage overflows should also be part of communities' efforts regarding sewage collection and treatment.
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Guillois-Becel Y., Couturier E., Le Saux Jean-Claude, Roque-Afonso A. M., Le Guyader Soizick, Le Goas A., Pernes J., Le Bechec S., Briand A., Robert C., Dussaix E., Pommepuy Monique, Vaillant V. (2009). An oyster-associated hepatitis A outbreak in France in 2007. Eurosurveillance, 14(10), 1-6. Open Access version :