J Korean Med Sci.  2018 Sep;33(39):e245. 10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e245.

Serologic Survey and Risk Factors for Coxiella burnetii Infection among Dairy Cattle Farmers in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea. wisewine@dongguk.ac.kr
  • 2Division of Zoonoses, Center for Immunology and Pathology, National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 3Division of Bacterial Disease Research, Center for Infectious Disease Research, National Research Institute of Health, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 4Pathogen Resource TF, National Culture Collection for Pathogens, National Research Institute of Health, Cheongju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The zoonotic disease Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii and usually affects high-risk human populations. We conducted a serological survey of dairy cattle farmers in Korea to determine seroreactivity and identify risk factors for C. burnetii infection.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study included 1,824 of 7,219 dairy cattle farms (25.3%) in the study region. The selected dairy cattle farmers visited the nearest public health centers or branches with completed questionnaires. Serum samples from the farmers were tested using an indirect immunofluorescence assay to detect phase II C. burnetii immunoglobulin (Ig) G or M antibodies.
RESULTS
A total of 1,222 dairy cattle farmers from 784 dairy cattle farms (43.0%) participated in this study, and 11.0% (134/1,222) exhibited seroreactivity, defined as a phase II antigen IgG or IgM titer ≥ 1:16. In the multivariate analysis, male sex, residence in Gyeonggi Province, a larger herd size, and ocular/oral contact with birth products during calf delivery were significantly associated with a higher risk of C. burnetii infection. Furthermore, the risk was significantly lower among farmers who always wore protective gloves while cleaning cattle excretion, compared to those who sometimes or rarely wore protective gloves.
CONCLUSION
Dairy cattle farmers should exercise caution by avoiding ocular/oral contact with birth products during calf delivery and by using protective equipment (including gloves).

Keyword

Coxiella burnetii; Dairy Cattle; Farmers; Risk Factors; Serologic Tests; Korea

MeSH Terms

Agriculture
Animals
Antibodies
Cattle*
Coxiella burnetii*
Coxiella*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Farmers*
Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
Gloves, Protective
Gyeonggi-do
Humans
Immunoglobulin G
Immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulins
Korea*
Male
Multivariate Analysis
Parturition
Public Health
Q Fever*
Risk Factors*
Serologic Tests
Zoonoses
Antibodies
Immunoglobulin G
Immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulins
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