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Neurological symptoms and neuropathological antibodies in poultry workers exposed to Campylobacter jejeuni.
Price-LB; Roess-A; Graham-J; Baqaar-S; Vailles-R; Lackey-L; Sheikh-KA; Silbergeld-EK
Toxicologist 2008 Mar; 102(1):300
The pathogenic bacterium Campylobacter jejeuni is a major cause of food-borne illness and also frequently identified as a risk factor for Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), the most common cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis in the world. This association has been found in association with dietary and drinking water exposures, and has been explained in terms of molecular mimicry, in which antibodies to C jejeuni surface protein cross react with glycolipid proteins in peripheral nerves.Because of the endemic presence of C jejeuni in poultry production, we examined risks of peripheral neuropathy in poultry workers as compared to community referents using a clinical questionnaire developed for studies of GBS. We also examined sera for anti-glycolipid antibodies, a biomarker of GBS, and C jejeunispecific antibodies, a biomarker of C jejeuni exposure. Workers were 3 times more likely to report stomach cramping symptoms (p = 0.03), and more likely to carry higher titers of anti- C jejeuni IgG antibodies (p = 0.002). They were also significantly more likely to report neurological symptoms consistent with GBS (4-10 times). Anti-glycolipid IgG antibodies were more common among male poultry workers as compared to male referents (p = 0.07). These results confirm associations between C jejeuni exposure and risks of peripheral neuropathy. Moreover, the findings suggest that agricultural occupational exposures, in addition to diet and drinking water, may be an unrecognized source of increased risk of this important disease.
Bacteria; Bacterial-disease; Pathogenicity; Pathogenesis; Biomarkers; Nervous-system-disorders; Neurological-diseases; Neuropathology; Peripheral-nervous-system; Poultry-workers; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-processes
Issue of Publication
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 47th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 16-20, 2008, Seattle, Washington
MD; AZ; WA
Johns Hopkins University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division