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Assessment of the Exposure of Turkey Farmers to Antimicrobial Resistance Associated with Working Practices

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, 10124 Turin, Italy
Department of Law and Political, Economic and Social Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, 15121 Alessandria, Italy
Department of Medicine, Epidemiology, Occupational Hygiene and the Environment, National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), 00078 Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vet. Sci. 2019, 6(1), 13;
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Italian Society of the Veterinary Sciences SISVet 2018)
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The objective of the present study was the identification of farming practices in the production of turkeys for human consumption, and their ranking in terms of the occupational probability of exposure to antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria, for farm workers. We gathered evidence and data from scientific literature, on risk factors for AMR in farmers, and on the prevalence of those hazards across farming phases. We administered semi-structured interviews to public and private veterinarians in Northern Italy, to obtain detailed information on turkey farming phases, and on working practices. Data were then integrated into a semi-quantitative Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA). Those working practices, which are characterized by direct contact with numerous animals, and which are carried out frequently, with rare use of personal protection devices resulted as associated with the greatest probability of exposure to AMR. For methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), these included vaccination and administration of any individual therapy, and removal and milling of litter, given the exposure of farmers to high dust level. Indeed, levels of occupational exposure to MRSA are enhanced by its transmission routes, which include direct contact with animal, as well as airborne transmission. Level of exposure to extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) is more strictly associated with direct contact and the oral-fecal route. Consequently, exposure to ESBL resulted and associated with the routinely tipping over of poults turned on their back, and with the individual administration of therapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; animal farms; farmers; workers; risk assessment; FMEA antimicrobial resistance; animal farms; farmers; workers; risk assessment; FMEA
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Franceschini, G.; Bottino, M.; Millet, I.; Martello, E.; Zaltron, F.; Favretto, A.R.; Vonesch, N.; Tomao, P.; Mannelli, A. Assessment of the Exposure of Turkey Farmers to Antimicrobial Resistance Associated with Working Practices. Vet. Sci. 2019, 6, 13.

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