A study on occupational exposure of Sicilian farmers to Giardia and Cryptosporidium


Occupational risk


Introduction. A cross-sectional study was undertaken to deter- mine the prevalence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in calves of Palermo area (Sicily) and to evaluate the occupational risk associated with occurrence of zoonotic genotypes. Methods. A total of 217 faecal samples, from 149 calves (between 2 and 240 days of age) and 68 farmers, were collected in 19 cattle- farms of Palermo area. A questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics and personal hygienic measures was submitted to all farmers. All faecal samples were analyzed by Immunoflu- orescence assay and Polimerase Chain Reaction (PCR); geno- types were determined by DNA sequencing of Triose Phosphate Isomerase gene for Giardia and Small Subunit Ribosomal RNA gene for Cryptosporidium. Results. None farmer tested was positive for Giardia and Cryptosporidium, whereas these protozoa were respectively detected in 53 (including 5 with zoonotic G. duodenalis geno- type A) and 17 (of which 1 with zoonotic C. ubiquitum) of the examined calves. Discussion. The results indicate that the risk of transmitting both protozoa to farmers in Palermo area is negligible although it can- not be considered null because of identification of human geno- types/species in calves.


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