High Seroprevalence of Leptospira Exposure in Meat Workers in Northern Mexico: A Case-Control Study

Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Jesus Hernandez-Tinoco, Luis Francisco Sanchez-Anguiano, Agar Ramos-Nevarez, Sandra Margarita Cerrillo-Soto, Leandro Saenz-Soto, Lucio Martinez-Ramirez


Background: The seroepidemiology of Leptospira infection in workers occupationally exposed to raw meat has been poorly studied. This work aimed to determine the association between Leptospira exposure and the occupation of meat worker, and to determine the seroprevalence association with socio-demographic, work, clinical and behavioral characteristics of the meat workers studied.

Methods: We performed a case-control study in 124 meat workers and 124 age- and gender-matched control subjects in Durango City, Mexico. Sera of cases and controls were analyzed for anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies using a commercially available enzyme immunoassay. Data of meat workers were obtained with the aid of a questionnaire. The association of Leptospira exposure with the characteristics of meat workers was analyzed by bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies were found in 22 (17.7%) of 124 meat workers and in eight (6.5%) of 124 controls (OR = 3.12; 95% CI: 1.33 - 7.33; P = 0.006). Seroprevalence of Leptospira infection was similar between male butchers (17.6%) and female butchers (18.2%) (P = 1.00). Multivariate analysis of socio-demographic, work and behavioral variables showed that Leptospira exposure was associated with duration in the activity, rural residence, and consumption of snake meat and unwashed raw fruits.

Conclusions: This is the first case-control study of the association of Leptospira exposure with the occupation of meat worker. Results indicate that meat workers represent a risk group for Leptospira exposure. Risk factors for Leptospira exposure found in this study may help in the design of optimal preventive measures against Leptospira infection.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(3):231-236
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2463w


Leptospira; Case-control study; Epidemiology; Seroprevalence; Meat workers; Mexico

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