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Nadimpalli M.,Health Science University | Rinsky J.L.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Stewart J.,Health Science University | Wing S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Over 50 million hogs are raised annually in the United States for consumption, mostly on industrial hog operations (IHOs). Workers at IHOs are exposed to airborne particulates, zoonotic pathogens, and other workplace hazards, but lack of access to IHOs can hinder exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies. Here, we demonstrate the utility of pig-specific Bacteroidales (Pig-2-Bac) as a biomarker of exposure to pigs and pig waste and to help identify sources of Staphylococcus aureus carriage among IHO workers. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source


Guidry V.T.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Lowman A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Hall D.,Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help REACH | Baron D.,Reach U Inc. | Wing S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS | Year: 2014

Environmental justice (EJ) research requires attention to consequences for research participants beyond those typically considered by institutional review boards. The imbalance of power between impacted communities and those who create and regulate pollution creates challenges for participation, yet research can also benefit those involved. Our community-academic partnership designed the Rural Air Pollutants and Children's Health (RAPCH) study to provide positive impacts while measuring health effects at three low-resource public middle schools near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in North Carolina. We evaluated perceived benefits and challenges of study involvement by interviewing school staff and community liaisons who facilitated data collection. Reported benefits included enhancement of students' academic environment and increased community environmental awareness; challenges were associated mainly with some participants' immaturity. Leadership from a strong community-based organization was crucial to recruitment, yet our approach entailed minimal focus on EJ, which may have limited opportunities for community education or organizing for environmental health. Source


Rinsky J.L.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Nadimpalli M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Wing S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Hall D.,Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help REACH | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Objectives: Administration of antibiotics to food animals may select for drug-resistant pathogens of clinical significance, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the United States, studies have examined prevalence of MRSA carriage among individuals exposed to livestock, but prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) carriage and the association with livestock raised with versus without antibiotic selective pressure remains unclear. We aimed to examine prevalence, antibiotic susceptibility, and molecular characteristics of S. aureus among industrial livestock operation (ILO) and antibiotic-free livestock operation (AFLO) workers and household members in North Carolina. Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional study were interviewed and provided a nasal swab for S. aureus analysis. Resulting S. aureus isolates were assessed for antibiotic susceptibility, multi-locus sequence type, and absence of the scn gene (a marker of livestock association). Results: Among 99 ILO and 105 AFLO participants, S. aureus nasal carriage prevalence was 41% and 40%, respectively. Among ILO and AFLO S. aureus carriers, MRSA was detected in 7% (3/41) and 7% (3/42), respectively. Thirty seven percent of 41 ILO versus 19% of 42 AFLO S. aureus-positive participants carried MDRSA. S. aureus clonal complex (CC) 398 was observed only among workers and predominated among ILO (13/34) compared with AFLO (1/35) S. aureus-positive workers. Only ILO workers carried scn-negative MRSA CC398 (2/34) and scn-negative MDRSA CC398 (6/34), and all of these isolates were tetracycline resistant. Conclusions: Despite similar S. aureus and MRSA prevalence among ILO and AFLO-exposed individuals, livestock-associated MRSA and MDRSA (tetracycline-resistant, CC398, scn-negative) were only present among ILO-exposed individuals. These findings support growing concern about antibiotics use and confinement in livestock production, raising questions about the potential for occupational exposure to an opportunistic and drug-resistant pathogen, which in other settings including hospitals and the community is of broad public health importance. © 2013 Rinsky et al. Source


Nadimpalli M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Rinsky J.L.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Wing S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Hall D.,Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help REACH | And 7 more authors.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2015

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the persistence of nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus and multidrug-resistant S. aureus over 14 days of follow-up among industrial hog operation workers in North Carolina. Methods: Workers anticipating at least 24 h away from work were enrolled June-August 2012. Participants self-collected a nasal swab and completed a study journal on the evening of day 1, and each morning and evening on days 2-7 and 14 of the study. S. aureus isolated from nasal swabs were assessed for antibiotic susceptibility, spa type and absence of the scn gene. Livestock association was defined by absence of scn. Results: Twenty-two workers provided 327 samples. S. aureus carriage end points did not change with time away from work (mean 49 h; range >0-96 h). Ten workers were persistent and six were intermittent carriers of livestock-associated S. aureus. Six workers were persistent and three intermittent carriers of livestock-associated multidrug-resistant S. aureus. One worker persistently carried livestock-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Six workers were non-carriers of livestock-associated S. aureus. Eighty-two per cent of livestock-associated S. aureus demonstrated resistance to tetracycline. A majority of livestock-associated S. aureus isolates (n=169) were CC398 (68%) while 31% were CC9. No CC398 and one CC9 isolate was detected among scn-positive isolates. Conclusions: Nasal carriage of livestock-associated S. aureus, multidrug-resistant S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus can persist among industrial hog operation workers over a 14-day period, which included up to 96 h away from work. Source


Heaney C.D.,Johns Hopkins University | Myers K.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Wing S.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Hall D.,Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help REACH | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Swine farming has gone through many changes in the last few decades, resulting in operations with a high animal density known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These operations produce a large quantity of fecal waste whose environmental impacts are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate microbial water quality in surface waters proximal to swine CAFOs including microbial source tracking of fecal microbes specific to swine. For one year, surface water samples at up- and downstream sites proximal to swine CAFO lagoon waste land application sites were tested for fecal indicator bacteria (fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus) and candidate swine-specific microbial source-tracking (MST) markers (Bacteroidales Pig-1-Bac, Pig-2-Bac, and Pig-Bac-2, and methanogen P23-2). Testing of 187 samples showed high fecal indicator bacteria concentrations at both up- and downstream sites. Overall, 40%, 23%, and 61% of samples exceeded state and federal recreational water quality guidelines for fecal coliforms, E. coli, and Enterococcus, respectively. Pig-1-Bac and Pig-2-Bac showed the highest specificity to swine fecal wastes and were 2.47 (95% confidence interval [CI]. = 1.03, 5.94) and 2.30 times (95% CI. = 0.90, 5.88) as prevalent proximal down- than proximal upstream of swine CAFOs, respectively. Pig-1-Bac and Pig-2-Bac were also 2.87 (95% CI. = 1.21, 6.80) and 3.36 (95% CI. = 1.34, 8.41) times as prevalent when 48. hour antecedent rainfall was greater than versus less than the mean, respectively. Results suggest diffuse and overall poor sanitary quality of surface waters where swine CAFO density is high. Pig-1-Bac and Pig-2-Bac are useful for tracking off-site conveyance of swine fecal wastes into surface waters proximal to and downstream of swine CAFOs and during rain events. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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