Respiratory symptoms and immunological status in poultry food processing workers

Eugenija Zuskin, Bozica Kanceljak, Jadranka Mustajbegovic, E. Neil Schachter, Luka Stilinovic

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16 Scopus citations


A group of 57 female workers employed in the processing of poultry food and 51 nonexposed control workers were studied to determine the possible relation between respiratory and immunological findings in poultry food workers. The prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms were significantly higher in exposed than in control workers (P < 0.01) except for occupational asthma. The highest prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms in exposed workers was found for chronic cough (49.1 %), followed by dyspnea (43.9%), rhinitis (38.6%), chronic phlegm (31.6%), and chronic bronchitis (26.3%). Occupational asthma was found in 5.3% of exposed workers. Exposed workers with a positive skin prick test to poultry food extract demonstrated higher prevalences of all chronic respiratory symptoms than those with negative skin tests, although the difference was statistically significant only for rhinitis (P < 0.05). The most frequent skin reactions were found for poultry food extract (exposed: 66.7%; control: 25.5%; P < 0.05). An increased IgE serum level was found in 19 (33.3%) of the exposed and in four (7.8%) of the control workers (P < 0.01). Three exposed workers with occupational asthma demonstrated an increased serum IgE level. Our data confirm previous results indicating that occupational exposure to poultry food dust may be associated with the development of chronic respiratory symptoms and immunological changes in exposed workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-342
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • Immunological reactions
  • Occupational exposure
  • Poultry food workers
  • Respiratory symptoms


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