Risk Factors for Bartonella Seroreactivity Among Veterinary Workers in the Pacific Northwest
Thiel, N., Baker, M., Lipton, B., Fuller, L., Breitschwerdt, E. B., & Rabinowitz, P. (2023, June 15). VECTOR-BORNE AND ZOONOTIC DISEASES.
Background: Exposure to zoonotic diseases is a significant occupational risk in veterinary medicine. In this study, we characterized personal protective equipment use, injury frequency, and Bartonella seroreactivity in Washington State veterinary workers. Methods: Using a risk matrix developed to reflect occupational risk factors for exposure to Bartonella and multiple logistic regression, we explored determinants of risk for Bartonella seroreactivity. Results: Depending on the titer cutoff used, Bartonella seroreactivity was between 24.0% and 55.2%. No significant predictors of seroreactivity were found, although the relationship between high-risk status and increased seroreactivity for some Bartonella species approached significance. Serology for other zoonotic and vector borne pathogens did not identify consistent cross reactivity with Bartonella antibodies. Conclusion: The predictive power of the model was likely limited by the small sample size and high level of exposure to risk factors for most participants. Given the high proportion of veterinarians seroreactive to one or more of the three Bartonella spp. known to infect dogs and cats in the United States, as well as seroreactivity to other zoonoses, and the unclear relationship between occupational risk factors, seroreactivity, and disease expression, more research is needed in this area.