Ad Hoc Group on Vulnerable Groups meeting 14 April 2011

Outcome of the Ad Hoc Group on Vulnerable Groups meeting 14 April 2011

Discussion of draft report on toxoplasma in the food chain
As the draft report was nearing completion the group agreed to focus on the amendments suggested since the last meeting and then to discuss the conclusions, data gaps and recommendations currently drafted for each section. Minor editorial corrections were made to most of the report sections and references were clarified or added where possible. The main issues discussed under each section of the report are outlined below.

Background and introduction - Minor changes were made to provide consistency in references to the different stages of the parasites life cycle and to clarify how toxoplasma can infect the unborn baby.

The Organism, Human Toxoplasmosis, Human Cases, Burden of Disease - It was agreed that information on financial burden and information on the number of disease cases should come under the sections discussing the total burden of disease and clinical disease respectively. The group were content with the conclusions and recommendations as drafted for this section.

Sources of infection - Members discussed the usefulness of sentinel surveillance in animals for toxoplasma. Recommendations for the section were agreed in relation to livestock seroprevalence studies and method development requirements.

Food Studies - Recommendations relating to studies to determine food contamination levels and the effect of food processing/treatments were agreed.

Foodborne versus other routes - The group were content with the conclusions and recommendations as drafted for this section subject to minor changes to clarify the wording.

Consumer advice - The range and focus of advice given by different countries in relation to reducing exposure to toxoplasma were discussed. Conclusions and recommendations were drafted for this section relating to current UK advice

Summary and report title - It was agreed that the secretariat would draft the report summary section to cover why the group had been asked to produce the report, what methods they had used to gather data and the key findings and recommendations of the report. It was agreed to amend the title of the report to reflect that the document was more similar to a risk profile for toxoplasma than a formal risk assessment.

Work programme
The group agreed a timescale for final sign-off of the report by correspondence and considered that a further meeting was not required. It was agreed the final draft report will be presented at the full ACMSF meeting in June 2011.

April 2011
Secretariat