Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1756-1775; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201756
Article

Sero-Prevalence and Risk Factors for Leptospirosis in Abattoir Workers in New Zealand

1,2,* email, 1email, 3email, 3email, 4email and 1email
Received: 12 December 2013; in revised form: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 5 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Leptospirosis is an important occupational disease in New Zealand. The objectives of this study were to determine risk factors for sero-prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in abattoir workers. Sera were collected from 567 abattoir workers and tested by microscopic agglutination for Leptospira interrogans sv. Pomona and Leptospira borgpetersenii sv. Hardjobovis. Association between prevalence and risk factors were determined by species specific multivariable analysis. Eleven percent of workers had antibodies against Hardjobovis or/and Pomona. Workers from the four sheep abattoirs had an average sero-prevalence of 10%–31%, from the two deer abattoirs 17%–19% and the two beef abattoirs 5%. The strongest risk factor for sero-positivity in sheep and deer abattoirs was work position. In sheep abattoirs, prevalence was highest at stunning and hide removal, followed by removal of the bladder and kidneys. Wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves and facemasks did not appear to protect against infection. Home slaughtering, farming or hunting were not significantly associated with sero-prevalence. There is substantial risk of exposure to leptospires in sheep and deer abattoirs in New Zealand and a persisting, but lower risk, in beef abattoirs. Interventions, such as animal vaccination, appear necessary to control leptospirosis as an occupational disease in New Zealand.
Keywords: abattoir; leptospirosis; Leptospira borgpetersenii sv. Hardjobovis; Leptospira interrogans sv. Pomona; microscopic agglutination test; sero-prevalence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dreyfus, A.; Benschop, J.; Collins-Emerson, J.; Wilson, P.; Baker, M.G.; Heuer, C. Sero-Prevalence and Risk Factors for Leptospirosis in Abattoir Workers in New Zealand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1756-1775.

AMA Style

Dreyfus A, Benschop J, Collins-Emerson J, Wilson P, Baker MG, Heuer C. Sero-Prevalence and Risk Factors for Leptospirosis in Abattoir Workers in New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(2):1756-1775.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dreyfus, Anou; Benschop, Jackie; Collins-Emerson, Julie; Wilson, Peter; Baker, Michael G.; Heuer, Cord. 2014. "Sero-Prevalence and Risk Factors for Leptospirosis in Abattoir Workers in New Zealand." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 2: 1756-1775.

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