The genus Salmonella, a group of important zoonotic pathogens, is having global economic and political importance. Its main political importance results from the pathogenicity of many of its serovars for man. Serovars Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium are currently the most frequently associated to foodborne infections, but they are not the only ones. Animal food products contaminated from subclinically infected animals are a risk to consumers. In border free markets, an example is the EU, these consumers at risk are international. This is why, economic competition could use the risk of consumer infection either to restrict or promote free border trade in animals and their products. Such use of public health threats increases during economic recessions in nations economically weak to effectively enforce surveillance. In free trade conditions, those unable to pay the costs of pathogen control are unable to effectively implement agreed regulations, centrally decided, but leaving their enforcement to individual states. Free trade of animal food products depends largely on the promotion of safety, included in "quality," when traders target foreign markets. They will overtake eventually the markets of those ineffectively implementing agreed safety regulations, if their offered prices are also attractive for recession hit consumers. Nations unable to effectively enforce safety regulations become disadvantaged partners unequally competing with producers of economically robust states when it comes to public health. Thus, surveillance and control of pathogens like Salmonella are not only quantitative. They are also political issues upon which states base national trade decisions. Hence, the quantitative calculation of costs incurring from surveillance and control of animal salmonelloses, should not only include the cost for public health protection, but also the long term international economic and political costs for an individual state. These qualitative and qualitative costs of man and animal Salmonella infections should be calculated in the light of free trade and open borders. Understandably, accurate calculation of the economic and political costs requires knowledge of the many factors influencing nationally the quality and safety of pork products and internationally free trade. Thus, how Salmonella pig infections affect commerce and public health across open borders depends on a state's ability to accurately calculate costs for the surveillance and control of animal salmonelloses in general, and pig infections as a particular example.
- Economic crisis
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