Occupational Asthma Reference

Krakowiak A, Wiszniewska M, Krawczyk P, Szulc B, Wittczak T, Walusiak J, Palczynski C, Risk factors associated with airway allergic diseases from exposure to laboratory animal allergens among veterinarians, Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 2007;80:465-475,

Keywords: Poland, vet, veterinary surgeon, occupational asthma, rhinitis, animal, skin prick test, questionnaire

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Jolanta Walusiak, Lodz Jolanta Walusiak

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Investigate the risk factors for the development of occupational airway allergy (OAA) from exposure to laboratory animal allergens (LAA) among Polish veterinarians.
Two hundred veterinarians responded to the questionnaire and were subjected to skin prick test (SPT) to common allergens and LAA (rat, mouse, hamster, guinea pig, rabbit). Evaluation of total serum IgE level and specific IgE against occupational allergens was performed. In addition, bronchial hyperreactivity (BHR) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were measured before and after specific challenge testing (SCT) only in the subjects with work-related symptoms suggestive of occupational asthma (OA).
The prevalence of asthmatic and ocular symptoms was statistically more prevalent in the group of veterinarians sensitised to LAA versus non-sensitised subjects. The most frequent occupational allergens of skin and serum reactivity were LAA (44.5 and 31.5%, respectively). In 41 (20.5%) and in 22 (11%) subjects out of 200 veterinarians, serum specific IgE to natural rubber latex (NRL) allergens and disinfectants was also found. Serum sensitisation to cat allergens and daily contact with laboratory animals (LA) increased the risk for developing isolated occupational rhinitis. Furthermore, working time of more than 10 years and daily contact with LA were also significant risk factors for the development of OAA. Measuring PEFR and BHR before and after SCT is a useful method to confirm the presence of OA.
Allergy to LAA is an important health problem among veterinary medicine practitioners in Poland.

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