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Immunological and respiratory findings in swine farmers.

Zuskin E; Kanceljak B; Schachter EN; Mustajbegovic J; Goswami S; Maayani S; Marom Z; Rienzi N
Environ Res 1991 Dec; 56(2):120-130
The relationship between respiratory symptoms, ventilatory capacity changes, and sensitization to swine confinement buildings in pig farmers was examined. The cohort consisted of 32 male workers, mean age 35 years, on a pig farm in Yugoslavia. They had an average of 8 years exposure. The comparisons consisted of 39 age matched males employed in the food producing industry. The subjects were prick tested with extracts of materials collected in the swine confinement building such as swine food, corn flour, swine hair, and bacterial, mold, and Dermatophagoides-pteronyssinus antigens. Tracheal explants from male Hartley-guinea-pigs were incubated with 0 to 100 microliters of a extract of a mixture of swine hair, pig food, and swine confinement building antigens. The potential of the extract to induce isometric contractions of the explants was assessed. Fourteen swine farmers and 15 comparisons showed a positive skin reaction to the swine confinement antigens or swine hair. The largest proportion of positive reactions, 78%, was to swine food. Only 9% of the swine farmers reacted to the bacteria or mold extracts. Three swine farmers and one comparison had elevated serum total immunoglobulin concentrations. Two of the swine farmers reacted to swine food and swine hair. The cohort as a whole had a significantly higher prevalence of chest tightness than the comparisons. The swine workers with positive skin reactions to swine confinement antigens had a higher prevalence of chronic cough, phlegm, and bronchitis than those with negative results. Swine farmers with positive skin reactions had larger over shift reductions in mid expiratory flow (FEF50) and terminal expiratory flow (FEF25) than those with negative results. Swine workers with positive skin test results had significant preshift decrements in forced vital capacity (FVC), 1 second forced expiratory volume, FEF50, and FEF25. Swine farmers with negative reactions had significant preshift decrements in FVC. The swine confinement extract induced dose related contractions in-vitro in the trachea explants.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Agricultural-workers; Livestock; Pulmonary-function-tests; Clinical-symptoms; Health-survey; Immune-reaction; Allergens; Skin-tests; In-vitro-studies; Humans
Medicine Mount Sinai Medical Center One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
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Journal Article
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Environmental Research
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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division