So far aflatoxin has not been detected in crops grown in Sweden but only in imported feedstuffs or in feed mixtures containing imported products. During the survey for other mycotoxins in Swedish crops a compound was detected in oats which, by further analysis, was identified as aflatoxin B1. Quantitative evaluation showed concentrations as high as 2.6 ppm. The fungal population in this highly contaminated sample consisted almost entirely of Aspergillus flavus.
In February 1999, an outbreak of listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes serotype 3a occurred in Finland. All isolates were identical. The outbreak strain was first isolated in 1997 in dairy butter. This dairy began delivery to a tertiary care hospital (TCH) in June 1998. From June 1998 to April 1999, 25 case patients were identified (20 with sepsis, 4 with meningitis, and 1 with abscess; 6 patients died). Patients with the outbreak strain were more likely to have been admitted to the TCH than were patients with other strains of L. monocytogenes (60% vs. 8%; odds ratio, 17.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-136.8). Case patients admitted to the TCH had been hospitalized longer before cultures tested positive than had matched controls (median, 31 vs. 10 days; P=.008). An investigation found the outbreak strain in packaged butter served at the TCH and at the source dairy. Recall of the product ended the outbreak.
An investigation was carried out as a case-finding study to estimate the scale of heavy drug abuse in Sweden. Just over 8200 persons were reported as heavy drug abusers, 80% of these as injecting. For the majority of those reported more than one type of drug was indicated. There was concurrent abuse of alcohol by a majority of the heavy drug abusers. After correction of non-response with a modified capture-recapture technique and for erroneous classification, the scale of heavy drug abuse was estimated at 10000 - 14000 persons.
To investigate the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and its relation to p53 expression, histologic differentiation, clinical data, and prognosis.
A retrospective survey.
Primary tumors for analyses were obtained from 118 patients diagnosed with SCC of the oropharynx or hypopharynx between 1975 and 1998 in eastern Finland. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to evaluate the expression of iNOS and p53. The expression pattern of iNOS was related to p53 expression, clinical data, and survival.
High iNOS score was associated significantly with high nuclear p53 expression index (P = .006) and positive cytoplasmic p53 expression (P = .025). The score for iNOS expression was significantly lower in the largest (T4) tumors (P = .043). No association was seen between iNOS score and N or M class, tumor stage, or histologic differentiation. The score for iNOS expression was not related to overall survival.
The expressions of iNOS and p53 seem to be inter-related in pharyngeal SCC, although the causality remains to be clarified. The expression of iNOS shows no prognostic value in pharyngeal SCC.
In 2010, a marked increase in listeriosis incidence was observed in Finland. Listeria monocytogenes PFGE profile 96 was responsible for one-fifth of the reported cases and a cluster of PFGE profile 62 was also detected. Investigations revealed two fishery production plants with persistent Listeria contamination. It appears likely that the plants were at least partly responsible for the increase of listeriosis. Epidemiological investigation revealed that 57% (31/54) of cases with underlying immunosuppressive condition or medication reported eating gravad or cold-smoked fish. Two public notices were issued by THL and Evira informing which groups were most at risk from the effects of listeriosis and should therefore be cautious in consuming certain products. Systematic sampling of foods and adequate epidemiological investigation methods are required to identify the sources of Listeria infections. Continuous control measures at fishery production plants producing risk products are essential.
In Finland traditionally as many as two-thirds of laryngeal cancers have been considered to be supraglottic, while in other countries the majority are glottic. The Finnish observation is based on clinical series diagnosed and treated mainly before the 1960s. The aim of our study was to evaluate the present situation. This study consisted of 279 patients treated in Eastern Finland between 1975 and 1994 and included 145 (52%) glottic, 124 (44%) supraglottic and 10 (4%) subglottic tumours in 260 (93%) men and 19 (7%) women. During this study period, the proportion of glottic tumours remained stable in men but increased in women. The change in smoking habits seems to be the most important reason for the shift from supraglottic to glottic tumours.
Salmonella enterica serotype Bovismorbificans is a rare serotype in Finland. In June 2009, a nationwide outbreak of S. Bovismorbificans infections occurred, and 42 clinical isolates were identified. We conducted a case-control study enrolling 28 cases and 48 matched controls, and found ready-to-eat alfalfa sprouts associated with the infection (odds ratio = 35.2, 95% confidence interval 2.8-435). The sprouts were traced back to a domestic producer, with the seeds originating in Italy. Although finding microbiological evidence for sprouts as a source of this outbreak was very challenging, S. Bovismorbificans was finally found in sprouts germinated in the laboratory, and in soaking and rinse waters during the germination process. The pulsed field gel electrophoresis showed that these isolates were identical to the human outbreak isolates. Before sampling, it is important to mix the seeds well and to take several large-size samples from different seed lots. Instead of analysing seeds, the analysis should be targeted to soaking or rinse water samples and to the sprouts germinated in a laboratory. Accordingly, the sprout producers should only buy seeds that have been analysed for Salmonella. The producers have to include Salmonella testing in their internal quality control to ensure that Salmonella is absent from sprouts placed on the market during their shelf-life. In order to reduce the health hazard caused by sprouts, an effective and safe decontamination procedure should also be developed for the seeds.