The occupational bioaerosols containing viruses, bacteria, fungi, microbial toxins and plant or animal particles, may evoke infectious, allergic or immunotoxic diseases which may co-exist as comorbidities with COVID-19 and exacerbate the course of disease. They include hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) caused mostly by bacteria, fungi, and particles containing animal proteins, and immunotoxic diseases such as organic dust toxic syndrome (ODTS) and byssinosis, caused mostly by bacterial and fungal toxins. The two most probable scenarios of possible interrelations between these three comorbidities (CM) and COVID-19 are: 1) ‘Triggering’ – when infection with SARS-CoV-2 triggers severe CM after bioaerosol exposure; 2) ‘Reverse triggering’ when exposure to bioaerosol exacerbates a symptomless or mild course of COVID-19, and evokes a severe disease. The occupations mostly endangered by COVID-19 as the result of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosol, or to other bioaerosols which may exacerbate this disease, include: health care workers, social workers, breeders of fur animals, slaughterhouse workers, workers engaged in the processing and selling of seafood, and probably also agricultural workers, mainly in the developing countries. The authors present a hypothesis for the origin of the present pandemic. It assumes that a mild form of the present SARS-CoV-2 that is supposedly circulating among the Chinese population in the eastern part of the country, mutated under the influence of as yet unknown factor(s) present in the Chinese seafood markets, probably component(s) of bioaerosols, into the virulent and highly contagious form, known as the present SARS-CoV-2, under a scenario similar to that the authors have named ‘Reverse triggering’.
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