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Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Reusken C.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | van den Wijngaard C.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | van Beek P.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Beer M.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | And 13 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

The emergence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a novel orthobunyavirus, in ruminants in Europe triggered a joint veterinary and public health response to address the possible consequences to human health. Use of a risk profiling algorithm enabled the conclusion that the risk for zoonotic transmission of SBV could not be excluded completely. Self-reported health problems were monitored, and a serologic study was initiated among persons living and/or working on SBV-affected farms. In the study set-up, we addressed the vector and direct transmission routes for putative zoonotic transfer. In total, 69 sheep farms, 4 goat farms, and 50 cattle farms were included. No evidence for SBV-neutralizing antibodies was found in serum of 301 participants. The lack of evidence for zoonotic transmission from either syndromic illness monitoring or serologic testing of presumably highly exposed persons suggests that the public health risk for SBV, given the current situation, is absent or extremely low. Source

Schalk J.A.C.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | van Leeuwen A.E.D.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | Lodder W.J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | de Man H.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Viable Legionella pneumophila bacteria were isolated by amoebal coculture from pluvial floods after intense rainfall and from water collected at sewage treatment plants. Several isolated L. pneumophila strains belonged to sequence types that have been previously identified in patients. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Halstensen A.S.,National Institute of Occupational Health | Heldal K.K.,National Institute of Occupational Health | Wouters I.M.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | Skogstad M.,National Institute of Occupational Health | And 2 more authors.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene | Year: 2013

Objectives: The aim of this study was to extensively characterize grain workers' personal exposure during work in Norwegian grain elevators and compound feed mills, to identify differences in exposures between the workplaces and seasons, and to study the correlations between different microbial components. Methods: Samples of airborne dust (n = 166) were collected by full-shift personal sampling during work in 20 grain elevators and compound feed mills during one autumn season and two winter seasons. The personal exposure to grain dust, endotoxins, β-1→3-glucans, bacteria, and fungal spores was quantified. Correlations between dust and microbial components and differences between workplaces and seasons were investigated. Determinants of endotoxin and β-1→3-glucan exposure were evaluated by linear mixed-effect regression modeling. Results: The workers were exposed to an overall geometric mean of 1.0 mg m-3 inhalable grain dust [geometric standard deviation (GSD) = 3.7], 628 endotoxin units m-3 (GSD = 5.9), 7.4 μg m-3 of β-1→3-glucan (GSD = 5.6), 21 × 104 bacteria m-3 (GSD = 7.9) and 3.6 × 104 fungal spores m-3 (GSD = 3.4). The grain dust exposure levels were similar across workplaces and seasons, but the microbial content of the grain dust varied substantially between workplaces. Exposure levels of all microbial components were significantly higher in grain elevators compared with all other workplaces. The grain dust exposure was significantly correlated (Pearson's r) with endotoxin (rp = 0.65), β-1→3-glucan (rp = 0.72), bacteria (rp = 0.44) and fungal spore (rp = 0.48) exposure, whereas the explained variances were strongly dependent on the workplace. Bacteria, grain dust, and workplace were important determinants for endotoxin exposure, whereas fungal spores, grain dust, and workplace were important determinants for β-1→3-glucan exposure. Conclusions: Although the workers were exposed to a relatively low mean dust level, the microbial exposure was high. Furthermore, the exposure levels of microbial components varied between workplaces although the dust levels were similar. We therefore recommend that exposure levels at different workplaces should be assessed separately and a task-based assessment should be done for detailed evaluation of efficient dust-reducing measures. The microbial content and knowledge of health effects of the microbial components should be considered in health risk evaluations of these workplaces. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

Huss A.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Huss A.,University of Bern | Kooijman C.,InNET Monitoring AG | Breuer M.,Institute for Risk Assessment science | And 4 more authors.
Indoor Air | Year: 2010

We performed 124 measurements of particulate matter (PM2.5) in 95 hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars, cafés, and a disco, which had differing smoking regulations. We evaluated the impact of spatial separation between smoking and non-smoking areas on mean PM2.5 concentration, taking relevant characteristics of the venue, such as the type of ventilation or the presence of additional PM2.5 sources, into account. We differentiated five smoking environments: (i) completely smoke-free location, (ii) non-smoking room spatially separated from a smoking room, (iii) non-smoking area with a smoking area located in the same room, (iv) smoking area with a non-smoking area located in the same room, and (v) smoking location which could be either a room where smoking was allowed that was spatially separated from non-smoking room or a hospitality venue without smoking restriction. In these five groups, the geometric mean PM2.5 levels were (i) 20.4, (ii) 43.9, (iii) 71.9, (iv) 110.4, and (v) 110.3 μg/m, respectively. This study showed that even if non-smoking and smoking areas were spatially separated into two rooms, geometric mean PM2.5 levels in non-smoking rooms were considerably higher than in completely smoke-free hospitality venues. Practical Implications PM2.5 levels are considerably increased in the non-smoking area if smoking is allowed anywhere in the same location. Even locating the smoking area in another room resulted in a more than doubling of the PM2.5 levels in the non-smoking room compared with venues where smoking was not allowed at all. In practice, spatial separation of rooms where smoking is allowed does not prevent exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in nearby non-smoking areas. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Wagenaar J.A.,University Utrecht | Wagenaar J.A.,Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR | Wagenaar J.A.,World Health Organization | French N.P.,Massey University | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2013

Campylobacteriosis in humans, caused by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli, is the most common recognized bacterial zoonosis in the European Union and the United States. The acute phase is characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms. The long-term sequelae (Guillain-Barré syndrome, reactive arthritis, and postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome) contribute considerably to the disease burden. Attribution studies identified poultry as the reservoir responsible for up to 80% of the human Campylobacter infections. In the European Union, an estimated 30% of the human infections are associated with consumption and preparation of poultry meat. Until now, interventions in the poultry meat production chain have not been effectively introduced except for targeted interventions in Iceland and New Zealand. Intervention measures (eg, biosecurity) have limited effect or are hampered by economic aspects or consumer acceptance. In the future, a multilevel approach should be followed, aiming at reducing the level of contamination of consumer products rather than complete absence of Campylobacter. © The Author 2013. Source

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