Incidence, Demographic, and Seasonal Risk Factors of Infections Caused by Five Major Enteric Pathogens, Ontario, Canada, 2010–2017

Patience John, Csaba Varga, Martin Cooke, Shannon E. Majowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Canada, enteric infections cause significant health and economic burden. We evaluated the individual characteristics of laboratory-confirmed cases of Campylobacter spp. (n = 28,728), non-typhoidal Salmonella spp. (n = 22,640), Yersinia spp. (n = 1674), Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC; n = 1340), and Listeria monocytogenes (n = 471), reported between 2010 and 2017 inclusive, in Ontario, Canada (population ∼13,500,000). We calculated overall and pathogen-specific annual and mean incidence rates (IRs) for Ontario. We used multivariable Poisson and negative binomial regression models to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for years, seasons, age groups, and sexes, and we included two-way age and sex interaction terms in the models. Campylobacter and Salmonella infections had the highest IRs whereas Listeria infections had the lowest IRs. None of the infections showed long-term trends over the 8-year study period; however, rates of all five infections were elevated in the summer. More Salmonella, VTEC, and Listeria infections were linked to disease outbreaks than were Campylobacter and Yersinia infections. Overall, mean IRs of Campylobacter, Salmonella, Yersinia, and VTEC infections were highest in children 0–4 years old, whereas Listeria IRs peaked in adults 60 years and older. Higher mean IRs of Campylobacter were observed in males. No other differences by sex were statistically significant. The same mean rate was observed in both sexes for Listeria. Adjusting for all other factors, significant age- and sex-specific differences in IRs were observed in Campylobacter, Salmonella, and VTEC infection rates. No significant interactions of age and sex were found for Yersinia and Listeria infections. Future research should focus on the pathogen-specific socioeconomic, environmental, or agricultural risk factors that might be responsible for these infections.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-258
Number of pages11
JournalFoodborne pathogens and disease
Issue number4
Early online dateJan 19 2022
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • enteric disease distributions
  • Ontario
  • demographic risk factors
  • seasonality
  • incidence rates
  • food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Microbiology


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