Exposure to laboratory animals (LA) can cause allergic sensitisation and symptoms as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, anaphylaxis and dermatitis. In 2000, a program was instituted at Trieste Universities to decrease LA allergy among scientists and technicians working with animals. The aim of the present study was to investigate LA allergy in workers exposed to LA from 2001 to 2016, and to verify the effects of a preventive program. Four hundred sixty-seven people underwent pre-employment screening for a job with laboratory animals at Universities of Trieste consisting in a medical examination, a full respiratory and allergy anamnesis, using a standardised questionnaire, skin prick test with common and occupational allergens, and spirometry. Every year, each worker repeated the medical examination and underwent again tests and questionnaire. Each worker can ask for a medical examination and skin prick test, in case of unset of symptoms. Logistic multivariate analysis and generalised equation estimation were use, to verify factors associated to LA allergy. Sensitisation to LA decreased in years, going from 25.6% in 2001-2004 to 8.2% in 2013-2016 (p?0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis confirmed the role of atopy by prick test (OR?=?6; IC95% 2.2-16.6), of common allergic symptoms (OR?=?2.9; IC95% 1.4-6.39) and of calendar periods. No association was found between LA allergy, years, and hours of exposure. The authors concluded that the findings from the study demonstrated a significant reduction of LA allergy after the application of a preventive program.
Authors: Larese Filon F, Drusian A, Mauro M, Negro C. ; Full Source: Respiratory Medicine. 2018 Mar; 136:71-76. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Feb 22.