ORIGINAL ARTICLES

AAEM

Ann Agric Environ Med 2003, 10, 53-60

PLASMA C3D LEVELS OF YOUNG FARMERS CORRELATE WITH RESPIRABLE
DUST EXPOSURE LEVELS DURING NORMAL WORK IN
SWINE CONFINEMENT BUILDINGS

Hans Jurgen Hoffmann1, Martin Iversen1, Ivan Brandslund6, Torben Sigsgaard2, Oyvind Omland2,
Claus Oxvig4, Uffe Holmskov5, Leif Bjermer7, Jens Christian Jensenius3, Ronald Dahl1

1Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark,
2Department of Environmental Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
4Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
5Institute of Medical Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
6Vejle County Hospital, Denmark, Vejle, Denmark
7Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Trondhjem, Trondhjem, Norway

Full text available in Adobe Acrobat format.Full text available in Adobe Acrobat Format

Hoffmann HJ, Iversen M, Brandslund I, Sigsgaard T, Omland O, Oxvig C, Holmskov U, Bjermer L, Jensenius JC, Dahl R: Plasma C3d levels of young farmers correlate with respirable dust exposure levels during normal work in swine confinement buildings. Ann Agric Environ Med 2003, 10, 53-60.

Abstract: Work in swine confinement buildings leads to an inflammatory response and may be associated with increased levels of acute phase proteins. We compared the inflammatory response of a control group of young former farm workers with age-matched former farm workers who had previously developed the lower airway symptoms of wheeze, cough, tightness of the chest during work in swine confinement buildings, and because of these symptoms had stopped work. Both groups were subjected to an experimental exposure in a swine confinement building for 3 hours. Complement activation and acute phase proteins were measured in blood samples and broncho-alveolar lavage. Plasma C3d levels correlated with respirable dust, significantly so for individual cases and for the whole cohort. Plasma C3, fibrinogen and alpha1-acid glycoprotein peaked 1 and 6 h after exposure start, mannan-binding lectin, C-reactive protein and alpha1-antitrypsin peaked after 2 h. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) and alpha2-macroglobulin were downregulated. In lavage, only SP-D, alpha2-macroglobulin and fibronectin were detected. FEV1, FVC, TLC and FEV25-75 did not vary during exposure. There was complement activation in response to respiratory dust, more so amongst cases than in the control group. Acute exposure, with work related levels of organic dust containing endotoxin, leads to a weak systemic inflammatory response.

Address for correspondence: Hans Jurgen Hoffmann, PhD, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Building 2b, Norrebrogade 44, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. E-mail: hansjuergen.hoffmann@get2net.dk

Key words: agriculture, acute phase proteins, complement, lipopolysaccharides.


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