Respiratory symptoms and ex vivo cytokine release are associated in workers processing herring.

Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Aarhus, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 2.1). 03/2004; 77(2):136-41. DOI: 10.1007/s00420-003-0479-9
Source: PubMed

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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the respiratory status in salmon-processing workers. The study population was composed of 139 salmon workers and 214 controls. A study protocol comprised a questionnaire, spirometry, measurements of fractional exhaled nitric oxide concentration, and total and specific immunoglobulin E analyses. Adjusted odds ratio of general respiratory symptoms ranged from 2.2 for wheezing to 3.6 for daily morning cough. Salmon workers were found to have an excess of work-related respiratory symptoms (2.9 ≤ adjusted odds ratio ≤ 13.6) and reduced lung function. Positive interaction of smoking and exposure was found for work-related upper respiratory symptoms and shortness of breath. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide concentration levels were higher in controls. None from the controls had salmon-specific immunoglobulin E, compared with 2.2% of salmon workers. Salmon-processing workers exhibit impaired respiratory status and are more likely to be sensitized to salmon.
    Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 12/2010; 52(12):1167-72. · 1.88 Impact Factor