Potential sources of infection with selected zoonotic agents in the veterinary work environment – pilot studies
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Department of Health Biohazards and Parasitology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Pulawy, Poland
Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Angelina Wójcik-Fatla   

Institute of Rural Health, Department of Health Biohazards and Parasitology, Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020;27(1):146-150
Introduction and Objective:
The problem of occupational biohazards is very important, especially in the field of agriculture and in human and veterinary medicine. The aim of the study was to determine the potential sources of infection in veterinary professionals with selected zoonotic agents, including: Toxoplasma gondii, Giardia duodenalis, Leptospira spp., Cryptosporidium spp. and Coxiella burnetii.

Material and methods:
A total of 50 air samples from barns, piggeries and veterinary surgeries were examined for the presence of Leptospira spp. and C. burnetii DNA. Serum samples of 86 pigs and 80 cows were tested for the presence of antibodies to Leptospira spp. and to phase I and II C. burnetii antigens. Serum of 70 cats were tested for the presence of antibodies to T. gondii and 65 samples of cat faeces for the presence of T. gondii oocysts. The presence of G. duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. were examined in 50 of dog faeces and 50 of bovine faeces samples.

DNA of Leptospira spp. was detected in 2 air samples from the piggeries (4%). C. burnetii DNA was not found in any sample. Anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 51 (59.3%) of examined pigs. Neither anti-Leptospira spp. nor anti-C. burnetii antibodies were found among samples of bovine serum. Anti-T. gondii antibodies was found in 52 cat serum samples (74.3%). Among samples of cat faeces, no T. gondii oocysts were detected. In one sample of cattle stool (2%), G. duodenalis was detected and in another (2%) – Cryptosporidium spp. G. duodenalis was detected in 7 samples (14%) and Cryptosporidium spp. in 2 samples (2%) of dog faeces.

The results of this study demonstrate the potential risk of infection with Leptospira spp. in veterinarians working with pigs. Veterinarians could be also be at risk of infection with T. gondii and G. duodenalis.

This study has been based on the results of Phase IV of the National Programme for the Improvement of Safety and  Working Conditions (2017-2019) financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education/the National Centre for Research and Development and coordinated by the Central Institute for Labour Protection–National Research Institute (agreement No. TP-54/2017/PW-PB, Project No. II.N.22).
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