Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Search Results

Two outbreaks of occupationally acquired histoplasmosis: more than workers at risk.

Authors
Huhn-GD; Austin-C; Carr-M; Heyer-D; Boudreau-P; Gilbert-G; Eimen-T; Lindsley-MD; Cali-S; Conover-CS; Dworkin-MS
Source
Environ Health Perspect 2005 May; 113(5):585-589
NIOSHTIC No.
20039033
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the etiology and risk factors for acute histoplasmosis in two outbreaks in Illinois among laborers at a landfill in 2001 and at a bridge reconstruction site in 2003. DESIGN: We performed environmental investigations during both outbreaks and also performed an analytic cohort study among bridge workers. PARTICIPANTS: Workers at the landfill during May 2001 and those at the bridge site during August 2003 participated in the study. At the landfill, workers moved topsoil from an area that previously housed a barn; at the bridge, workers observed bat guano on bridge beams. EVALUATIONS/MEASUREMENTS: We defined a case by positive immunodiffusion serology, a > or = 4-fold titer rise in complement fixation between acute and convalescent sera, or positive urinary Histoplasma capsulatum (HC) antigen. Relative risks (RR) for disease among bridge workers were calculated using bivariate analysis. RESULTS: Eight of 11 landfill workers (73%) and 6 of 12 bridge workers (50%) were laboratory-confirmed histoplasmosis cases. Three bridge workers had positive urinary HC antigen. At the bridge, seeing or having contact with bats [RR = 7.0; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-43.0], jack-hammering (RR = 4.0; 95% CI, 1.2-13.3), and waste disposal (RR = 4.0; 95% CI, 1.2-13.3) were the most significant job-related risk factors for acquiring histoplasmosis. CONCLUSIONS: Workers performing activities that aerosolized topsoil and dust were at increased risk for acquiring histoplasmosis. Relevance to professional and clinical practice: Employees should wear personal protective equipment and use dust-suppression techniques when working in areas potentially contaminated with bird or bat droppings. Urinary HC antigen testing was important in rapidly identifying disease in the 2003 outbreak.
Keywords
Risk-factors; Epidemiology; Humans; Men; Women; Soil-sampling; Soil-analysis; Exposure-limits; Age-groups; Protective-equipment; Aerosols; Antigens; Fungal-diseases; Fungi; Author Keywords: antigen; bat guano; bridge; dust; histoplasmosis; landfill; occupationally acquired; spores; workers
Contact
Gregory D. Huhn; Rush University Medical Center, 600 S. Paulina St., Suite 140-143 AC.FAC, Chicago, IL 60612
CODEN
EVHPAZ
Publication Date
20050501
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Gregory_Huhn@rush.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0091-6765
Source Name
Environmental Health Perspectives
State
IL; GA
Performing Organization
University of Illinois-Chicago
TOP