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.
"The components of the bioaerosols depend on the processes performed and on what seafood tissues are exposed to the air [Jeebhay et al., 2004, 2005]. Inhalation of airborne particles during seafood processing has been demonstrated as a potential risk for sensitization, respiratory symptoms, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and work-related asthma [Sherson et al., 1989; Malo and Cartier, 1993; Douglas et al., 1995; Bonlokke et al., 2004; Bang et al., 2005; Jeebhay et al., 2008]. It has been shown that workers engaged in seafood processing are exposed to proteins, allergens, as well as endotoxins [Sherson et al., 1989; Bang et al., 2005; Jeebhay et al., 2005]. "
"Our results suggest that the indoor exposure to A. versicolor affects the mediator release of cells. In other studies, the mediator release was higher in exposed subjects when the stimulation occurred together with the exposure substance, for example in animal keepers or fish factory workers [30,34]. In our study, A. versicolor antigen could be detected in three dust extracts out of 18 collected in rooms of subjects exposed to moisture damage. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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 12/2013; 8(12):e82734. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0082734 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"In this study, 20% of workers reported an episode of inhaling excessive vapor, gas, dust or fumes in their job resulting in work-related asthma symptoms, with 62% of them attributing this to steam vapors produced by cooking fish in the cannery. Concomitant exposures to toxins such as histamine, endotoxin (as our preliminary studies in fishmeal operations have shown) and mycotoxins in organic dust and bioaerosols have also been known to cause mucous membrane irritation and/or asthma on an inflammatory basis [Sherson et al., 1989; Jeebhay et al., 2001; Bonlokke et al., 2004]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fish processing is a common economic activity in Southern Africa. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and host determinants of allergic symptoms, allergic sensitization, bronchial hyper-responsiveness and asthma among workers processing saltwater fish.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 594 currently employed workers in two processing plants involved in pilchard canning and fishmeal processing. A modified European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaire was used. Skin prick tests (SPT) used extracts of common airborne allergens, fresh fish (pilchard, anchovy, maasbanker, mackerel, red eye) and fishmeal. Spirometry and methacholine challenge tests (MCTs; tidal breathing method) used ATS guidelines.
Work-related ocular-nasal symptoms (26%) were more common than asthma symptoms (16%). The prevalence of atopy was 36%, while 7% were sensitized to fish species and 26% had NSBH (PC(20) < or = 8 mg/ml or > or =12% increase in FEV(1) post-bronchodilator). The prevalence of probable occupational asthma was 1.8% and fish allergic rhino-conjunctivitis 2.6%. Women were more likely to report work-related asthma symptoms (OR = 1.94) and have NSBH (OR = 3.09), while men were more likely to be sensitized to fish (OR = 2.06) and have airway obstruction (OR = 4.17). Atopy (OR = 3.16) and current smoking (OR = 2.37), but not habitual seafood consumption were associated with sensitization to fish.
Based on comparison with previous published studies, the prevalence of occupational asthma to salt water fish is lower than due to shellfish. The gendered distribution of work and exposures in fish processing operations together with atopy and cigarette smoking are important determinants of occupational allergy and asthma.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine 12/2008; 51(12):899-910. DOI:10.1002/ajim.20635 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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