Observations on animal and human health during the outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis in game farm wapiti in Alberta.
This report describes and discusses the history, clinical, pathologic, epidemiologic, and human health aspects of an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic wapiti in Alberta between 1990 and 1993, shortly after legislative changes allowing game farming. The extent and seriousness of the outbreak of M. bovis in wapiti in Alberta was not fully known at its onset. The clinical findings in the first recognized infected wapiti are presented and the postmortem records for the herd in which the animal resided are summarized. Epidemiologic findings from the subsequent field investigation are reviewed, the results of recognition and investigation of human exposure are updated, and recommendations for reduction of human exposure are presented. (+info)
Preventing zoonotic diseases in immunocompromised persons: the role of physicians and veterinarians.
We surveyed physicians and veterinarians in Wisconsin about the risk for and prevention of zoonotic diseases in immunocompromised persons. We found that physicians and veterinarians hold significantly different views about the risks posed by certain infectious agents and species of animals and communicate very little about zoonotic issues; moreover, physicians believe that veterinarians should be involved in many aspects of zoonotic disease prevention, including patient education. (+info)
Genetic damage in operating room personnel exposed to isoflurane and nitrous oxide.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate genetic damage as the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei in lymphocytes of peripheral blood of operating room personnel exposed to waste anaesthetic gases. METHODS: Occupational exposure was measured with a direct reading instrument. Venous blood samples were drawn from 10 non-smokers working in the operating room and 10 non-smoking controls (matched by age, sex, and smoking habits). Lymphocytes were cultured separately over 72 hours for each assay with standard protocols. At the end of the culture time, the cells were harvested, stained, and coded for blind scoring. The exchanges of DNA material were evaluated by counting the number of sister chromatid exchanges in 30 metaphases per probe or by counting the frequency of micronuclei in 2000 binucleated cells. Also, the mitotic and proliferative indices were measured. RESULTS: The operating room personnel at the hospital were exposed to an 8 hour time weighted average of 12.8 ppm nitrous oxide and 5.3 ppm isoflurane. The mean (SD) frequency of sister chromatid exchanges was significantly higher (10.2 (1.9) v 7.4 (2.4)) in exposed workers than controls (p = 0.036) the proportion of micronuclei (micronuclei/500 binucleated cells) was also higher (8.7 (2.9) v 6.8 (2.5)), but was not significant (p = 0.10). CONCLUSION: Exposure even to trace concentrations of waste anaesthetic gases may cause dose-dependent genetic damage. Concerning the micronuclei test, no clastogenic potential could be detected after average chronic exposure to waste anaesthetic gas. However, an increased frequency of sister chromatid exchanges in human lymphocytes could be detected. Although the measured differences were low, they were comparable with smoking 11-20 cigarettes a day. Due to these findings, the increased proportion of micronuclei and rates of sister chromatid exchanges may be relevant long term and need further investigation. (+info)
Cancer in veterinarians.
OBJECTIVES: Veterinarians come into contact with several potentially carcinogenic exposures in the course of their occupation. These exposures include radiation, anaesthetic gases, pesticides (particularly insecticides), and zoonotic organisms. This review aims to summarise what is known about the carcinogenic risks in this profession. METHODS: The levels of exposure to potential carcinogens in the veterinary profession are examined and evidence is reviewed for carcinogenesis of these substances in humans at doses similar to those experienced by veterinarians. The few published studies of cancer in veterinarians are also summarised. RESULTS: Veterinarians have considerable potential for exposure to several known and potential carcinogens. Risks may be posed by work in clinics with poorly maintained x ray equipment, by use of insecticides, and from contact with carcinogenic zoonotic organisms. The few studies available suggest that veterinarians have increased mortality from lymphohaematopoietic cancers, melanoma, and possibly colon cancer. CONCLUSIONS: The exposures examined in this review are not unique to the veterinary profession, and, as a consequence, information gathered on the carcinogenic risks of these exposures has implications for many other occupations such as veterinary nurses, animal handlers, and some farmers, as well as dentists, radiographers, and anaesthetists. (+info)
Spontaneous abortions among veterinarians.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to determine whether female veterinarians have an increased risk of spontaneous abortion and whether the potential risk is related to the type of work veterinarians do. METHODS: The investigation was a retrospective cohort study among all the female members of the Finnish Veterinary Association (N=549). Information on pregnancies was obtained from hospital records from 1973-1990. The risk of spontaneous abortion among the veterinarians was compared with that of all other Finnish women and other upper-level employees. Odds ratios from logistic regression analyses were used as the estimates of the risk ratios. RESULTS: The risk of spontaneous abortion was 10.5% for the veterinarians. In the 1970s, practicing veterinarians had an increased risk of spontaneous abortion as compared with other Finnish women (adjusted odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.0-3.1) or other upper-level employees (adjusted odds ratio 2.0, 95% confidence interval 1.1-3.4). In the 1980s, the risk fell below that of other Finnish women. No essential differences were observed in the risk between the veterinarians employed in different occupational categories. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the veterinarians had an increased risk of spontaneous abortion in the 1970s, but not in the 1980s. Factors which might have contributed to this decrease in risk include decreases in the prevalence and level of exposure to harmful agents, improvements in the occupational hygiene of the work environment, and an increased awareness of reproductive hazards and the use of sick leave during pregnancy. (+info)
Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis E virus in veterinarians working with swine and in normal blood donors in the United States and other countries.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is endemic in many developing and some industrialized countries. It has been hypothesized that animals may be the source of infection. The recent identification of swine HEV in U.S. pigs and the demonstration of its ability to infect across species have lent credence to this hypothesis. To assess the potential risk of zoonotic HEV infection, we tested a total of 468 veterinarians working with swine (including 389 U.S. swine veterinarians) and 400 normal U.S. blood donors for immunoglobulin G anti-HEV. Recombinant capsid antigens from a U.S. strain of swine HEV and from a human HEV strain (Sar-55) were each used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The anti-HEV prevalence assayed with the swine HEV antigen showed 97% concordance with that obtained with the human HEV antigen (kappa = 92%). Among the 295 swine veterinarians tested from the eight U.S. states (Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Alabama) from which normal blood donor samples were available, 26% were positive with Sar-55 antigen and 23% were positive with swine HEV antigen. In contrast, 18% of the blood donors from the same eight U.S. states were positive with Sar-55 antigen and 17% were positive with swine HEV antigen. Swine veterinarians in the eight states were 1.51 times more likely when tested with swine HEV antigen (95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 2.20) and 1.46 times more likely when tested with Sar-55 antigen (95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 2.17) to be anti-HEV positive than normal blood donors. We did not find a difference in anti-HEV prevalence between veterinarians who reported having had a needle stick or cut and those who had not or between those who spent more time (> or = 80% of the time) and those who spent less time (< or = 20% of the time) working with pigs. Similarly, we did not find a difference in anti-HEV prevalence according to four job categories (academic, practicing, student, and industry veterinarians). There was a difference in anti-HEV prevalence in both swine veterinarians and blood donors among the eight selected states, with subjects from Minnesota six times more likely to be anti-HEV positive than those from Alabama. Age was not a factor in the observed differences from state to state. Anti-HEV prevalence in swine veterinarians and normal blood donors was age specific and paralleled increasing age. The results suggest that swine veterinarians may be at somewhat higher risk of HEV infection than are normal blood donors. (+info)
Prevalence of antibodies to Brucella spp. and risk factors related to high-risk occupational groups in Eritrea.
In a study of three high-risk occupational groups using Rose Bengal and complement fixation tests, the highest prevalence (7.1%) was found among dairy farm workers and owners in randomly selected dairy-cattle farms, followed by veterinary personnel (4.5%) and inhabitants in pastoralist areas (3.0%). There was no evidence for significant differences between the three populations. Among dairy farm workers, a higher risk was associated with the presence of sheep in the farm (OR = 13.2, CI = 2.2-76.7). In the pastoral area, a high risk was linked to having close contact with animals (OR = 6.32, CI = 0.88-infinity), while a reduced risk was seen for contact with cattle (OR = 0.18, CI = 0-1.30). Symptoms suggestive of brucellosis were more commonly observed among the dairy farm workers, mainly found in the highlands, than among the pastoralist area inhabitants, where malaria is prevalent. The study documents not only the presence of serological and clinical evidence of human brucellosis, but also risk factors related to it in Eritrea, for the first time. (+info)
On November 19, 2001, a case of inhalational anthrax was identified in a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, who later died. We conducted intensive surveillance for additional anthrax cases, which included collecting data from hospitals, emergency departments, private practitioners, death certificates, postal facilities, veterinarians, and the state medical examiner. No additional cases of anthrax were identified. The absence of additional anthrax cases argued against an intentional environmental release of Bacillus anthracis in Connecticut and suggested that, if the source of anthrax had been cross-contaminated mail, the risk for anthrax in this setting was very low. This surveillance system provides a model that can be adapted for use in similar emergency settings. (+info)