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  • 1 Institute for Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Kreuzbergring 57, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
  • 2 Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Biological Agents, Nöldnerstraße 40-42, 10317 Berlin, Germany
  • 3 Institute for Occupational, Social and Evironmental Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Waldweg 37b, 37073 Göttingen, Germany

Psittacosis is a zoonotic infectious disease that is caused by Chlamydophila psittaci. To determine the occupational risk of getting the infection, we investigated the seroprevalence of C. psittaci among employees of two German duck farms and two slaughterhouses according to their level of exposure to the pathogen during the years 2010, 2007, and 2004. In summary, we found low seroprevalence (≈ 8%) throughout the study population almost irrespective of the duty of a given worker. Surprisingly, in 2010, the anti-C. psittaci-specific antibody prevalence in the group of slaughterer (38.9%) was significantly increased in comparison to the non-exposed employees (p = 0.00578). This indicates that individuals in the surrounding of slaughterhouses exposed especially to aerosols containing C. psittaci elementary bodies bear a greater occupational risk of getting infected.

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