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Mi-Yeoun Park 1 Article
Seroreactivity to Q Fever Among Slaughterhouse Workers in South Korea
Hyuk Chu, Seok-Ju Yoo, Kyu-Jam Hwang, Hyun-Sul Lim, Kwan Lee, Mi-Yeoun Park
J Prev Med Public Health. 2017;50(3):195-200.   Published online May 11, 2017
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Q fever is a zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide; however, little is known about its prevalence in South Korea. We attempted to determine the prevalence of Q fever seroreactivity among Korean slaughterhouse workers and the risk factors for seroreactivity according to the type of work.
The study was conducted among 1503 workers at a total of 73 slaughterhouses and 62 residual-product disposal plants. During the study period, sites were visited and surveys were administered to employees involved in slaughterhouse work, and serological tests were performed on blood samples by indirect immunofluorescence assays. Serological samples were grouped by job classification into those of slaughter workers, residual-product handlers, inspectors and inspection assistants, and grading testers and testing assistants. Employee risk factors were analyzed according to the type of work.
Out of 1481 study subjects who provided a blood sample, 151 (10.2%) showed reactive antibodies. When these results were analyzed in accordance with the type of work, the result of slaughter workers (11.3%) was similar to the result of residual-product handlers (11.4%), and the result of inspectors and assistants (5.3%) was similar to the result of grading testers and assistants (5.4%). Among those who answered in the affirmative to the survey question, “Has there been frequent contact between cattle blood and your mouth while working?” the proportions were 13.4 and 4.6%, respectively, and this was identified as a risk factor that significantly varied between job categories among slaughterhouse workers.
This study found a Q fever seroreactivity rate of 10.2% for slaughterhouse workers, who are known to be a high-risk population. Contact with cattle blood around the mouth while working was the differential risk factor between job categories among slaughterhouse workers.


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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health