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IN the last two decades, reports of human infections due to Salmonella enterica serovar Napoli have notably increased especially in France, Italy and Switzerland (Fisher and others, 2009; Graziani and others, 2013).
Although relatively uncommon in Europe, S Napoli is the 15th most prevalent serovar isolated from human salmonellosis with 333 confirmed cases in 2014 (EFSA and ECDC, 2015). In Italy this serotype seems to be endemic, in the Northern Regions especially. It is among the five main serovars isolated from human infections in the last years (Fisher and others, 2009; Graziani and others, 2013). Although several epidemiological studies have been carried out on human cases and on the correlate isolates, no common point-source of infections has been recognised to date. While foodborne transmission is the most common route for Salmonella infections, this does not appear to be the case for the increase of this serovar. Recent studies showed that exposure to surface water such as swimming and other recreational activities seems to be a risk factor for S Napoli infection (Oggioni and others 2010). These findings, together with the recent detection of S Napoli in wild boars and wild birds hunted or captured in Northern and Central Italy and in fresh vegetables produced in the same Country, suggest a common environmental source of this serovar (Graziani and others 2011; Zottola and others 2013; Mancini and others 2014). However, the origins of such environmental contamination by S Napoli remains an enigma, although potentially …