Methods: All 10 departments of clinical microbiology completed a questionnaire on test methods and provided 2018-data of persons with positive stool samples with Salmonella species, Campylobacter jejuni/coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, Aeromonas species, diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (Enteroinvasive (EIEC), Shiga toxin-producing (STEC), Enterotoxigenic (ETEC), Enteropathogenic (EPEC), and intimin-producing/attaching and effacing (AEEC)), Shigella species., Vibrio cholerae, norovirus, rotavirus, sapovirus, adenovirus, Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium species, and Entamoeba histolytica.
Results: Enteric bacterial infections were diagnosed with an incidence of 229.9 cases/100,000 inhabitants, virus had an incidence of 86/100,000 and enteropathogenic parasites of 12.5/100,000. Viruses constituted more than half of diagnosed enteropathogens for children below 2 years and elderly above 80 years. Diagnostic methods and algorithms differed across the country and in general PCR testing resulted in higher incidences compared to culture (bacteria), antigen-test (viruses), or microscopy (parasites) for most pathogens.
Conclusions: In Denmark, the majority of detected infections are bacterial with viral agents primarily detected in the extremes of ages and with few intestinal protozoal infections. Incidence rates were affected by age, clinical setting and local test methods with PCR leading to increased detection rates. The latter needs to be taken into account when interpreting epidemiological data across the country.