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Wasinski B.,National Veterinary Research Institute | Dutkiewicz J.,Institute of Rural Health
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2013

Leptospirosis is a widespread although recently neglected zoonosis recognized worldwide. The disease seems to be underestimated, especially in countries located in the temperate climatic zone. The presented article concerns the main characteristics of leptospirosis and describes formerly known and recently observed environmental, occupational and recreational risk factors significant in the spreading and pathogenesis of the disease. The aspects of epidemiology significant in the temperate climatic zone are emphasized. The majority of cited articles present cases of the disease reported from Europe or North America. Climatic changes (warming) and extreme weather events such as foods are potential risk factors of leptospirosis. Also, some socio-economic phenomena, such as the intensive migration of people resulting in the transfer of the infections acquired in tropical countries, or worsening of economic status in the cities, increase the probability of disease. Apart from the danger connected with rodents, which are the main vectors of leptospires, occurrence of the disease in dogs and cats can generate a higher risk of infection for humans. Infections may also be acquired during various types of agricultural work and during recreational activities, such as swimming. The results of recent investigations show that ticks are also potential vectors of leptospires. The more frequent emergence of leptospirosis in countries located in the temperate climatic zone emphasize the need to verify knowledge related to the risk of its appearance, and to consider this disease during diagnostic processes.

Zatonski W.A.,Center of Oncology of Poland | Zatonski W.A.,Institute of Rural Health
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2011

The enormous health gap between the 'new' (eastern) and 'old' (western) parts of the EU has evolved over many decades. The epidemiological transition - that is the decrease in the relative importance of infant and early child mortality and the shift in the composition of mortality risks from communicable to non-communicable diseases - which started in the western part of the region at the beginning of the 20th century, was substantially delayed in most of eastern Europe. However, after the World War II, health improvement in the east initially out-paced the west, such that, by the mid-1960s, only 1-2 years separated the average life expectancy for both sexes between the east and west. This convergence was short-lived and it reversed dramatically between the mid 1960s and 1990. During this period, adult health status in the east stagnated or deteriorated, whereas in the west it improved steadily: by 1990, life expectancy at the age of 20 years was more than five years shorter in the east for men, and more than four years shorter for women. The biggest contributors to the health gap were cardiovascular diseases and injuries. A substantial fraction of the gap can, with confidence, be attributed to the higher volume and more irregular pattern of alcohol consumption in the east, and to the delayed onset of the tobacco smoking epidemics. Much of the remainder of the gap is likely to be attributable to the composition of the diet, but the contribution of different dietary factors cannot be estimated with confidence. Leading candidates are a high consumption of saturated animal fats, a low consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables (especially in winter and spring), a very low consumption of fats supplying omega 3 fatty acids - both vegetable oils and fish oils rich in alpha-linolenic acid - and a high consumption of salt. Behaviours unfavourable to health did not change in the east, as they did in the west in response to the credible dissemination of scientific findings linking disease and injury risks both to individual behaviours and to the social and economic circumstances that fostered those behaviours. The eastern countries failed to equip themselves with the science and with the forms of social organisation that were needed to effectively counter epidemics of chronic disease and injury. The poor health-related behavioural determinants resulted from the institutional infrastructures based on an authoritarian, conservative and medicalised model of health, which inhibited modern approaches to social problems, an almost exclusive focus of epidemiology on communicable as opposed to non-communicable diseases, a lack of understanding and access to modern epidemiology and public health, a lack of understanding and access to evidence-based medicine, and a lack of public health education and health promotion.

Galinska E.M.,Institute of Rural Health | Zagorski J.,Institute of Rural Health
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2013

Brucellosis in humans is a zoonosis of greatly varied clinical image. It occurs on all inhabited continents. The course of the disease may be acute, sub-acute or chronic. The etiologic factors of brucellosis are small, aerobic Gram-negative rods of the genus Brucella, which currently contains ten species: B. abortus, B. suis, B. ovis, B. melitensis, B. canis, B. neotomae, B. pinnipedialis, B. ceti, B. microti and B. inopinata. In humans, the disease is caused mainly by: B. melitensis as the most pathogenic species, followed by B. suis, whereas B. abortus is considered as the mildest type of brucellosis. The natural reservoir of the germ and the source of infection in humans are infected domestic animals, primarily cattle, sheep, goats, as well as wild animals. Infection in humans occurs by penetration through damaged skin, conjunctiva, and more rarely via the alimentary route by the consumption of infected products. Especially exposed are: veterinarians, veterinary technicians, insemination service employees, zoo technicians, farmers working on multi-herd farms (production cooperatives), e.g. cattlemen, also private farmers, employees of slaughter houses and meat processing enterprises. A basis for diagnosing brucellosis are serologic tests which allow the detection of antibodies occurring in response to infection, performed with the use of the following methods: agglutination test, complement fixation test, Coombs test, 2-mercaptoethanol agglutination test, and Burnet's intradermal allergy test which detects the state of hypersensitivity of the infected organism to Brucella abortus rods.

Brzezinski K.,Institute of Rural Health
Wspolczesna Onkologia | Year: 2012

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a toxic neuropathy, a syndrome consisting of highly distressing symptoms of various degrees of severity. It includes numbness of distal extremities, long-term touch, heat, and cold dysaesthesia and, in more severe cases, motor impairment affecting daily functioning. Each form of the syndrome may be accompanied by symptoms of neuropathic stinging, burning, and tingling pain. In the case of most chemotherapeutic agents, the incidence and severity of CIPN are dependent on the cumulative dose of the drug. The syndrome described is caused by damage to the axons and/or cells of the peripheral nervous system. Chemotherapeutic agents have distinct mechanisms of action in both neoplastic tissue and the peripheral nervous system; therefore, CIPN should not be regarded as a homogeneous disease entity. The present article is an attempt to systematize the knowledge about the toxic effects of chemotherapy on the peripheral nervous system.

Epidemiological population studies indicate that the nutrition of women at reproductive age and during pregnancy exerts an effect not only on the term of delivery, development of the foetus and birth weight, but also on the susceptibility of off spring to civilization diseases in adulthood, according to the hypothesis of Developmental Origin of Heath and Diseases (DOHaD). The author analyses the results of epidemiological studies conducted in 2011 in a randomly selected representative population of 6,000 Polish adolescents aged 14-24 (of the total of adolescents, a population of females was selected for analysis), and the results of foetal period health monitoring of mother and child (PRAMS) which has been conducted in Poland since 2009 in the population of mothers and their newborn babies staying after delivery in all hospitals in Poland. Analysis of these two population studies indicates that a high percentage of Polish women at reproductive age are dieting. At the same time, confirmation of the fact of becoming pregnant occurs between weeks 5-8 after conception. This shows that until that time, the foetuses of women on the Apple weight loss diet develop conditions of nutritional deficits which, according to the DOHaD hypothesis, may result in epigenetic changes which increase the susceptibility of off spring in adulthood to civilization diseases: cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. This hypothesis is confirmed by the high percentages of newborns in Poland born with low birth weight or prematurely born, as well as the fact that the percentage of anemia in pregnant Polish women is twice as high as in other developed countries. Simultaneously, a large number of babies are born with excessive birth weight (macrosomia). The author considers that in the countries of East-Central Europe the phenomenon observed is characteristic at present of the developing countries of the Third World, called the 'double burden of malnutrition'. This situation creates risk of the occurrence of an epidemics of civilization diseases in our part of Europe of a greater intensity than in other developed countries. The author postulates that the educational actions in the area of health promotion in the control of overweight and obesity should be differentiated according to gender and age. The activities to-date in the field of overweight and obesity control in Poland has led to an increase in the number of girls and young women suffering from nutritional disorders as a result of too drastic methods of losing weight. According to the DOHaD hypothesis applied, this may have tragic results for their off spring and for future generations.

Background: According to the data recorded by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, nearly 24% of employees from the EU-25 countries complain of back pain, while 22% report muscular pain. Materials and Methods: The study covered a selected group of 58 male farmers, inhabitants of 7 districts in the Lublin region, engaged in the mixed agricultural production (plant-animal), aged 54.9±10.1. The control group comprised 41 researchers of the University of Life Sciences and the Institute of Rural Health, aged 48.9±9.6. The basic research instrument was a self-designed questionnaire on pain complaints occurring within the motor system: in the lower and upper parts of the spine, and in the region of the neck and shoulders. Results: The results of the survey showed that of the four regions of the motor organs examined, the farmers reported most frequently pain complaints in the lower part of the spine (54 farmers; 93.1% of the total number of respondents), whereas in the control group, pain in this region was reported by 63.4% of researchers (p = 0.0002). Lower back pain most often occurred in farmers during their entire occupational life (64.8%), while in the control group this type of pain had occurred in the last 12 months (57.7%). Farmers described this pain as permanent, radiating to one or both legs, whereas in the control group these were short-lasting episodes (less than 14 days). © Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera w Łodzi.

Szymanska J.,Medical University of Lublin | Sitkowska J.,Institute of Rural Health
Future Microbiology | Year: 2013

Aim: The study aimed to determine qualitative and quantitative contamination of dental unit reservoir water with aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria, with regards to health risk to dental staff and patients. Materials & methods: The study material included water samples from 107 unit reservoirs. Conventional microbiological methods were used. The isolated bacteria were divided into three groups according to pathogenic mechanisms. Results: Dental unit water contamination was widespread. The isolated bacteria average concentration was 1.1 × 105 CFU/ml, with Ralstonia pickettii as the prevailing species (49.33%). The total potentially pathogenic bacteria were 54.54% of all the isolated bacteria. Bacteria causing infectious and invasive diseases constituted over one-half of this group, while allergizing and immunotoxic bacteria occurred in smaller quantities. Conclusion: The presence of over 50% potentially pathogenic microorganisms among the isolated bacteria and their very high concentrations call for the daily use of effective methods to reduce dental unit water contamination and health risk. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.

Klapec T.,Institute of Rural Health | Borecka A.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to evaluate the contamination of vegetables, fruits and soil with zoonotic parasite eggs on organic and conventional farms in south-eastern Poland. To evaluate the contamination with eggs of zoonotic parasites, examinations were conducted on 8 conventional and 11 organic farms in south-eastern Poland from May - October in 2008 and 2009. The following fruit and vegetables were selected for the experiment: strawberry, leek, onion, carrot, zucchini, beetroot, parsley, potatoes, celery, rhubarb, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, young beetroot leaves, cauliflower, French beans, turnip, fennel and sorrel. A total of 187 samples of vegetables, fruits and soil were examined by means of a modified flotation method according to Quinn et al. (1980). Contamination with Ascaris, Trichuris and Toxocara eggs was found, with a higher number of positive samples revealed on conventional (34.7%), compared to organic farms (18.9%). The level of contamination in soil samples from conventional farms was higher (88.5% positive samples), than of those from organic farms (32.8%). Of the 15 geohelmints eggs, positive samples were found in vegetables: 9 Toxocara eggs, 4 Ascaris eggs and 2 Trichuris eggs. No geohelmints eggs were observed in the strawberry samples. The consumption of vegetables and fruits contaminated with the eggs of parasites may be the cause of parasitoses in humans. Stricter sanitary standards on farms of all types may limit the incidence of parasitic zoonoses.

Solecki L.,Institute of Rural Health
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2012

The objective of the study was to recognize and evaluate the annual exposure of private farmers to whole body mechanical vibration on selected family farms of mixed production profile (plant-animal). The scope of study covered the carrying out of time schedules of agricultural activities, and measurements of the frequency weighted vibration acceleration (m/s2), expressed as effective values (r.m.s.) for each of three spatial directions on the seat surface within the period of the whole year. The basic vibration parameter was vibration dose (d). The following values were determined: total monthly vibration dose, mean equivalent daily vibration dose, and mean equivalent daily vibration acceleration. The highest values of the total monthly vibration dose (d) were observed in April and August (55.3-56.7 m2/s4. h). The mean equivalent of daily vibration acceleration showed the highest values in four months of the year: April, August, September and October (0.49-0.60 m/s2); the average value of this parameter for the whole year reached the level of 0.44 m/s2 - below the standard. Due to the occurrence in agricultural vehicles of mechanical shocks (mean values of maximum vibration acceleration: 0.82-1.00 m/s2; exceeding the standard), and exceeding of the daily exposure action value, proper steps should be undertaken with respect to the protection of private farmers against risk resulting from exposure to mechanical vibration while performing work activities.

Zukiewicz-Sobczak W.A.,Institute of Rural Health
Postepy Dermatologii i Alergologii | Year: 2013

Allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, asthma, airborne dermatitis, or allergic conjunctivitis, can be caused or aggravated by components of bioaerosol from natural environment or from indoor environment in enclosed spaces, workplaces and homes. The main components of bioaerosol are fungi and their metabolites, which are common in the environment.

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