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Reactive arthritis and other musculoskeletal sequelae following an outbreak of Salmonella hadar in Castellon, Spain.

OBJECTIVE: In 2005 a large outbreak of Salmonella hadar occurred in Spain following the consumption of commercial precooked roast chicken. We estimated the incidence and risk factors for reactive arthritis (ReA) and other musculoskeletal sequelae in the patients of this outbreak in 2 health departments of Castellon province.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study of the patients and their families was carried out. Clinical infection with Salmonella was considered as the exposure factor. The cohort was studied for ReA symptoms using a telephone questionnaire. Telephone interviews or medical examinations of subjects with musculoskeletal symptoms were conducted by a rheumatologist. Robust Poisson regression models were used in the analysis.

RESULTS: From the cohort of 262 people, 248 (94.7%) participated in the telephone survey, 155 with clinical salmonellosis (infected), 78 noninfected, and 15 with some symptoms but not clinical salmonellosis. One hundred one infected patients (65%) reported musculoskeletal symptoms, compared to 19 noninfected (24%) (adjusted relative risk = 2.60, 95% CI 1.73-3.90). Of the infected group, 16 ReA (incidence 10%, 95% CI 6.0-16.2), 7 enthesopathies, and 2 arthralgias were detected, and zero in the noninfected group. The risk factors for ReA were age, weight loss, and duration of diarrhea. Antibiotic treatment for the infection protected against symptoms of peripheral or axial arthritis (adjusted relative risk = 0.73, 95% CI 0.55-0.98).

CONCLUSION: The incidence of ReA and musculoskeletal symptoms after the infection was high. The use of antibiotics for S. hadar infection offered some protection against musculoskeletal symptoms.

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