Dual PA/MPH Program

Title

The Effect of Occupational Exposures to Animals on the Prevalence and Evidence of Leptospirosis

Poster Number

40

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

leptospirosis, leptospira antibodies, occupational health, prevention, zoonotic

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background: The disease leptospirosis is one of the deadliest zoonotic illnesses worldwide and has been understudied in occupational populations who regularly work with animals. Previous studies have focused on weather and climate related exposures, neglecting this working population.

Objective: The Navigation Guide methodology was used to conduct a systematic literature review to determine if there is increased prevalence of leptospirosis or seroprevalence indicating previous infection in occupationally exposed animal professions.

Methods: By following the Navigation Guide procedures, we identified a specific study question and systematically evaluated the literature for inclusion in the final review. The 14 studies that were included subsequently underwent evaluation for risk of bias, quality, and strength of the evidence.

Discussion: Due to issues with non-uniform presentation of the results among the included studies, cross study comparisons were made sparingly. Factors influencing the odds of contracting Leptospirosis included; smoking OR 14.4 (1.39, 134.74), consuming a liquid while working OR 5.1 (1.04, 24.30), washing hands after work OR 0.2 (0.03, 0.81), and using protective aprons OR 0.4 (0.2, 0.7). The annual prevalence of Leptospirosis ranged from 0.07-1.6 per 100,000 individuals. Occupation as the source of infection ranged from 30% to 88%. Studies had similar outcomes indicating increased prevalence/evidence of leptospirosis in occupational groups but these measures were not presented in an overly convincing manner.

Conclusion: The quality of evidence was deemed moderate among the included studies and there was only “limited evidence” of an association between the occupationally exposed to animals population and increased prevalence of leptospirosis or leptospira antibody seropositivity. However, several factors were identified as either being protective or increasing the odds of contracting leptospirosis within this working population, and can subsequently serve as short term areas of intervention while more rigorous prospective research is conducted in the future.

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The Effect of Occupational Exposures to Animals on the Prevalence and Evidence of Leptospirosis

Background: The disease leptospirosis is one of the deadliest zoonotic illnesses worldwide and has been understudied in occupational populations who regularly work with animals. Previous studies have focused on weather and climate related exposures, neglecting this working population.

Objective: The Navigation Guide methodology was used to conduct a systematic literature review to determine if there is increased prevalence of leptospirosis or seroprevalence indicating previous infection in occupationally exposed animal professions.

Methods: By following the Navigation Guide procedures, we identified a specific study question and systematically evaluated the literature for inclusion in the final review. The 14 studies that were included subsequently underwent evaluation for risk of bias, quality, and strength of the evidence.

Discussion: Due to issues with non-uniform presentation of the results among the included studies, cross study comparisons were made sparingly. Factors influencing the odds of contracting Leptospirosis included; smoking OR 14.4 (1.39, 134.74), consuming a liquid while working OR 5.1 (1.04, 24.30), washing hands after work OR 0.2 (0.03, 0.81), and using protective aprons OR 0.4 (0.2, 0.7). The annual prevalence of Leptospirosis ranged from 0.07-1.6 per 100,000 individuals. Occupation as the source of infection ranged from 30% to 88%. Studies had similar outcomes indicating increased prevalence/evidence of leptospirosis in occupational groups but these measures were not presented in an overly convincing manner.

Conclusion: The quality of evidence was deemed moderate among the included studies and there was only “limited evidence” of an association between the occupationally exposed to animals population and increased prevalence of leptospirosis or leptospira antibody seropositivity. However, several factors were identified as either being protective or increasing the odds of contracting leptospirosis within this working population, and can subsequently serve as short term areas of intervention while more rigorous prospective research is conducted in the future.