Salmonella Infection Varies by Age, Income

Age and economic status play a significant role in salmonella infection. Particularly, white children and adults living in a household with an increased median income are at highest risk for infection.


These were the findings of a new research paper led by Nadine Oosmanally, MSPH, who is the FoodNet Coordinator at the Georgia Emerging Infections Program at Georgia’s Department of Public Health in Atlanta. She presented her paper on Monday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2018.



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Salmonella infections affect more than 1 million Americans each year, with the highest burden occurring in Georgia. However, socioeconomic status as a risk factor for infection has not been characterized in Georgia, and evidence from global literature is lacking.


To better understand this association, Dr Oosmanally and colleagues reviewed demographic and laboratory data for salmonella cases reported to Georgia’s Department of Public Health from 2011 to 2015. Economic data was obtained through the American Community Survey.


From 2011 to 2015, 12,536 cases of salmonella were reported. Of which, 46% of cases were among adults aged 18 years or older, 36% were among children aged 1 to 17 years, and 18% were among infants younger than 1 year.


The majority of infected individuals lived in a non-rural county (73%) and were white (71%).


Javiana, Newport, Enteriditis, Typhimurium, and Salmonella I 13,23:b were the most common serotypes identified.


Findings revealed a significant association between infection with these 5 serotypes in each county and median household income.


In addition, median household income also correlated with age of infection. Adults and children living in a household with increased median income had a higher risk for infection; this association was not observed in infants, though.


“The association between socioeconomic status and salmonella illness varies by age among those infected with the most common serotypes,” Dr Oosmanally and colleagues concluded. “This association should be further explored and characterized to target policies and interventions to reduce disparities in salmonella illness.”


—Amanda Balbi



Oosmanally N, Jones L, Parada K, Tobin-D’Angelo M. Salmonella infections and socioeconomic status, Georgia, 2011-2015. Paper presented at: CDC International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases; August 26-29, 2018; Atlanta, GA. Accessed August 27, 2018.