J Prev Med Public Health.  2017 May;50(3):195-200. 10.3961/jpmph.17.017.

Seroreactivity to Q Fever Among Slaughterhouse Workers in South Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Center for Infectious Disease, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea.
  • 3Center for Immunology and Pathology, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea. miyeoun@korea.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
Q fever is a zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide; however, little is known about its prevalence in South Korea. We attempted to determine the prevalence of Q fever seroreactivity among Korean slaughterhouse workers and the risk factors for seroreactivity according to the type of work.
METHODS
The study was conducted among 1503 workers at a total of 73 slaughterhouses and 62 residual-product disposal plants. During the study period, sites were visited and surveys were administered to employees involved in slaughterhouse work, and serological tests were performed on blood samples by indirect immunofluorescence assays. Serological samples were grouped by job classification into those of slaughter workers, residual-product handlers, inspectors and inspection assistants, and grading testers and testing assistants. Employee risk factors were analyzed according to the type of work.
RESULTS
Out of 1481 study subjects who provided a blood sample, 151 (10.2%) showed reactive antibodies. When these results were analyzed in accordance with the type of work, the result of slaughter workers (11.3%) was similar to the result of residual-product handlers (11.4%), and the result of inspectors and assistants (5.3%) was similar to the result of grading testers and assistants (5.4%). Among those who answered in the affirmative to the survey question, "Has there been frequent contact between cattle blood and your mouth while working?" the proportions were 13.4 and 4.6%, respectively, and this was identified as a risk factor that significantly varied between job categories among slaughterhouse workers.
CONCLUSIONS
This study found a Q fever seroreactivity rate of 10.2% for slaughterhouse workers, who are known to be a high-risk population. Contact with cattle blood around the mouth while working was the differential risk factor between job categories among slaughterhouse workers.

Keyword

Q fever; Coxiella burnetii; Risk factors; Slaughterhouses; Korea

MeSH Terms

Abattoirs*
Animals
Antibodies
Cattle
Classification
Coxiella burnetii
Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
Korea*
Mouth
Prevalence
Q Fever*
Risk Factors
Serologic Tests
Zoonoses
Antibodies
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