Neurologic symptoms associated with raising poultry and swine among participants in the Agricultural Health Study.
OBJECTIVE: Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is the leading cause of acute peripheral neuropathy worldwide, often associated with recent foodborne infection with Campylobacter jejuni. In this cross-sectional analysis of data from the Agricultural Health Study, we tested whether swine and poultry exposure were associated with increased prevalence of GBS-like neurologic symptoms. METHODS: Using multivariate analysis, we tested the symptoms such as numbness and weakness, relevant to inflammatory peripheral neuropathies, among farmers with self-reported occupational poultry or swine exposure compared with farmers who reported no occupational animal exposure. RESULTS: Among swine farmers/workers, prevalence of weakness and numbness were increased (P < 0.05). Among poultry farmers/workers, prevalence of weakness and numbness were increased, but increased prevalence of weakness was not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational contact with live poultry or swine, potentially related to C. jejuni exposure, was associated with increased reporting of GBS-like symptoms.
Davis, MF; Kamel, F; Hoppin, JA; Alavanja, MCR; Freeman, LB; Gray, GC; Nelson, K; Silbergeld, E
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