Occupational exposure to allergenic mites in a Polish zoo.
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Krzysztof Solarz, PhD, Department of Parasitology, Medical University of Silesia,Ostrogorska 30, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland. solarzk@slam.katowice.pl
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2004;11(1):27-33
The study was carried out from April 2000-March 2001. During this period49 samples of dust, litter, debris and residues from cages and run-offs of mammals, birds and reptilesin the Silesian Zoo, were examined for the presence of mites, especially the allergenic taxa. Mites wereextracted using the Berlese method and preserved in 70 % ethanol. For identification, the mites weremounted in Hoyer's medium on microscope slides. Mites were found in 44 of 49 samples analyzed (89.8 %).A total of 5,097 mites were collected, from which 60.3 % were found in samples collected in spring, whereasonly 13 % in summer and 24.1 % in autumn. The remaining 2.6 % of the total mite population was foundin winter. Majority of mites (82.7 %) were collected from aviaries of macaws and cockatiels (Ara araraunaand Nymphicus hollandicus). A total of 10 species of astigmatid mites were identified that belong to4 families--Acaridae, Glycyphagidae, Anoetidae and Pyroglyphidae. Generally, the allergenic mites ofthe order Astigmata constituted 49.5 % of the total count. Among them Acarus farris was predominant (34% of the total count), followed by Tyrophagus putrescentiae (4.7 %), Caloglyphus sp. (4.35 %) and Acarusimmobilis (4.31 %). Dermatophagoides farinae, the house-dust-mite species, was for the first time foundin this environment. D. farinae (0.05 % of the total population) was associated with parrots, canidsand artiodactyls. Summarizing, it should be stressed, that cages and run-offs of different mammals, aviariesof parrots and terrariums of snakes are important sources of some allergenic mites, especially A. farrisand T. putrescentiae, that might cause allergies in workers.
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