This research project aims to develop a food poisoning surveillance system with enhanced sensitivity and speed to provide more opportunities for intervention and prevention in the local population.
<p>Project AEGISS records a minimum dataset on all cases that present to Primary Care with acute onset of gastroenteric symptoms at first presentation, irrespective of the clinical management and faecal sampling.
<p>Postcode and date of onset are used for spatio-temporal statistical analysis to identify clustered cases. Specificity is added to the analysis by correlation of reported risk factor exposure and the results of routinely submitted faecal samples.
Gastrointestinal disease surveillance is currently principally pathogen-specific based on isolations from routinely faecal samples submitted by Primary Care. The Infectious Intestinal Disease study reported that for every 136 cases in the community, one is reported to national surveillance.
<p>This loss of epidemiological information limits the ability to detect outbreaks within local communities and reduces the opportunities for intervention. Therefore, surveillance based on pathogen isolations is highly specific but lacks sensitivity and speed.
<p>The aim of this project is to develop a surveillance system with enhanced sensitivity and speed to provide more opportunities for intervention and prevention in the local population.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.