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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2003

Author(s): Deutz, A; Fuchs, K; Schuller, W; Nowotny, N; Auer, H; Aspöck, H; Stünzner, D; Kerbl, U; Klement, C; Köfer, J

Title: [Seroepidemiological studies of zoonotic infections in hunters in southeastern Austria--prevalences, risk factors, and preventive methods].

Source: Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2003; 116(7-8):306-311


Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Deutz Armin
Köfer Josef
Nowotny Norbert

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Virology
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology


Abstract:
The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalences to zoonotic pathogens in hunters, to propose preventive measures and to obtain more information about the occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in local wild animal populations. From 146 male and 3 female hunters originating from the south-eastern Austrian federal states of Styria and Burgenland blood samples were taken and anamnestic data were obtained using a questionnaire. The serological investigations included the following viral, bacterial and parasitic zoonotic agents or zoonoses, respectively (antibody-seroprevalences in brackets): encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV, 15%), Puumala-Hantavirus (10%), Newcastle Disease virus (NDV, 4%), borreliosis (IgG 42%, IgM 7%), brucellosis (1%), chlamydiosis (3%), ehrlichiosis (IgG 15%, IgM 3%), leptospirosis (10%), tularaemia (3%), Q fever (0%), Echinococcus multilocularis/E. granulosus (5%/11%), toxocariasis (17%). Out of a control group of 50 persons (urban population, no hunters) only one person was found to be seropositive for Toxocara canis and NDV and four for EMCV, all other results were negative in the control group. The high seroprevalences especially to Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Ehrlichia spp., Leptospira interrogans, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, encephalomyocarditis virus and Puumala virus demonstrate that hunters are particularly exposed to zoonotic pathogens. It should also be noted that one hunter was seropositive for Brucella abortus and five exhibited antibodies to Francisella tularensis. In these cases, as well as in the cases of the 15 seropositives for Leptospira interrogans, the suspected source of infection may--besides rodents--also include wild boars and brown hares. The infections with NDV and Chlamydophila psittaci may be traced back to contact with certain species of birds (potential risk: aviaries). For Hantaviruses, rodents are considered to be the main source of human infections.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Antibodies, Bacterial/blood
Antibodies, Protozoan/blood
Antibodies, Viral/blood
Austria/epidemiology
Communicable Disease Control/methods*
Female
Humans
Male
Prevalence
Risk Factors
Seroepidemiologic Studies
Zoonoses/epidemiology*


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