Respiratory symptoms and ex vivo cytokine release are associated in workers processing herring.
ABSTRACT To determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among workers processing herring and assess ex vivo cytokine release in response to agents at their workplace.
We applied a questionnaire, and performed skin prick testing and pulmonary investigations in 36 workers at two herring factories, using 31 municipal workers as controls. In a whole blood assay (WBA), venous blood from the subjects was incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), beta(1,3)-glucan or sterile-filtered, fish constituents such as skin and rinsing water. We determined the IL-1beta and IL-8 release in the plasma by chemiluminescence ELISA.
Among smoking fish-factory workers the forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher (per cent predicted 92.0 vs 85.0; P=0.028) than among municipal workers. Fish rinsing water induced WBA IL-8 release to higher levels than LPS and glucan. Among non-smokers the induced IL-1beta release for rinsing water ( P=0.007) and the IL-8 release for skin ( P=0.001) and meat ( P=0.003) were higher in fish-factory workers than in municipal workers. The IL-1beta release for rinsing water ( P=0.028) and skin ( P=0.041) was higher among non-smokers than among smokers, and so was the IL-8 release for rinsing water ( P=0.008).
Assessing the cytokine release by use of the WBA we identified substances in the occupational environment with a pro-inflammatory potential comparable to that of LPS. The cytokine release for fish constituents was highest among non-smoking fish-factory workers. The results suggest a priming effect of the work exposure.
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ABSTRACT: Background:There are increasing reports of allergies and respiratory symptoms among workers in the fish processing industry, coinciding with an increasing use of high-pressure water in the processing plants. However, few studies have measured exposure in these work environments. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to characterize the occupational exposure of workers to herring antigen and to screen environmental factors at a herring (Clupea harengus) plant in which new and more encapsulated filleting machines had been installed. To assist in this, a method to assess airborne exposure to herring allergen was needed. METHODS: Exposure to airborne herring antigen, mould spores, and endotoxin were measured during work. Antigen exposure was assessed using a newly developed sensitive (detection limit, 0.1 ng ml(-1)) rabbit polyclonal sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against the major herring muscle protein allergen, parvalbumin. Aerosols were measured by mass concentration (DataRAM) and number of particles (Climet I-500). RESULTS: Personal geometric mean herring allergen exposure was 986 ng m(-3) at the old filleting workstations and 725 ng m(-3) at the new workstations (difference not significant). Outside the production room, the level was ~130 ng m(-3). Number of particles and mass concentration were both significantly lower around the new machines than around the old machines (P < 0.001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). The highest particle count was seen for the 0.3-0.5 μm fraction, with more than 400 000 particles per cubic metre air. Endotoxin concentration in the air varied between 3 and 92 EU m(-3), with the highest levels when the catch mainly contained herring that had eaten krill or seaweed. CONCLUSIONS: We developed a sensitive method to detect herring antigen. High exposure to herring antigen was measured during filleting work. The particles in the air around the fillet machines were mainly <0.5 μm and the newer encapsulated machines generated fewer particles. It is important to reduce occupational exposure of workers to aerosols by improving the ventilation system, machines, and organization of work.Annals of Occupational Hygiene 05/2013; · 2.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine exposure-response relationships in salmon-processing workers. Cross-shift FEV1, acute respiratory symptoms, and exposure to total protein, parvalbumin and endotoxin were main variables measured during one workweek. Exposure-response relationships were analyzed by Generalized Estimation Equations of cross-week data and by multiple regressions of day-to-day data. Exposure levels were higher in those workers who reported use of water hose. GEE showed negative coefficients for interaction between TP exposure and time (days) on cross-week change of FEV1. Multiple regressions showed significant associations between TP levels and cross-shift change of FEV1 and symptoms (cough, chest tightness) only for Monday shifts. A tolerance effect during the course of a workweek is suggested. Use of water hose is a risk process with regard to the liberation of measured components of bioaerosols. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 12/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In rooms with moisture damage, the indoor air can be enriched with microorganisms causing a variety of symptoms. Due to the highly diverse composition of bioaerosols and the multiple effects on humans, an assessment of the health risk is not sufficiently possible. The aim of this study was to characterize the features of innate immunity using blood from subjects exposed to moisture damage compared to control subjects living in houses without visible moisture damage. We investigated the expression of TLR-2, TLR-4 and dectin-1 on the surface of monocytes from both fresh blood and after in vitro stimulation with the model substances E. coli endotoxin, zymosan A, Pam3Cys and Aspergillus versicolor in 25 exposed subjects and 25 control subjects. In vitro stimulation of whole blood with the same components was performed for 20 h and the release of inflammatory mediators IL-8 and IL-1β were quantified. In addition to an enhanced number of blood leucocytes, the expression of the receptors TLR-2, TLR-4 and dectin-1 on blood monocytes was significantly enhanced in exposed subjects. In contrast, no different alteration in expression was detected between exposed and control group after in vitro stimulation with the model substances. The release of IL-8 and IL-1β after stimulation of whole blood with A. versicolor was increased in subjects exposed to moisture damage. Furthermore, in the exposed subjects the IL-1β release was significantly enhanced after in vitro stimulation with E. coli endotoxin (1000 pg/mL). In conclusion, features of the innate immune system (receptor expression and mediator release of monocytes) are altered in subjects exposed to moisture damage which may be a potential explanation for the increased incidence of respiratory health diseases observed in these populations.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e82734. · 3.53 Impact Factor