Skip to main content

Zoonotic infections in Northern Ireland farmers

  • C. F. Stanford (a1), J. H. Connolly (a2), W. A. Ellis (a3), E. T. M. Smyth (a4), P. V. Coyle (a2), W. I. Montgomery (a5) and D. I. H. Simpson (a6)...

Evidence of past zoonotic infection was investigated serologically in randomly selected Northern Ireland farmers. The percentage of farmers with antibody was: Brucella abortus (0·7), Leptospira interrogans serovars (8·1), Borrelia burgdorferi (14·3), Toxoplasma gondii (73·5), Coxiella burnetii (28·0), Chlamydia psittaci (11·1) and Hantavirus (1·2).

The results show that Northern Ireland farmers have been exposed in the past to zoonotic infections. It is not known if these infections contributed to ill health in farmers but it is now time for the health of farm workers and their medical services to be reassessed.

Hide All
1.Kerr WR, McCaughey WJ, Coghlan JD et al. , Techniques and interpretations in the serological diagnosis of brucellosis in man. J Med Microbiol 1968; 1: 181–93.
2.Coghlan JD. Leptospira: Borrellia. In: Collee JG, Duguid JP, Fraser AG, Marmion BP, eds. Practical medical microbiology. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1989: 661–74.
3.Bradstreet CMP, Taylor CED. Technique of complement fixation test applicable to the diagnosis of virus diseases. Mon Bull Min Health and Pub Health Lab Services 1962; 1: 547–52.
4.Thorburn H, Williams H. A stable haemagglutinating antigen for detecting toxoplasma antibodies. J Clin Pathol 1972; 25: 762–7.
5.Haire M, Hadden DSM. Immunoglobulin response in rubella and its complications. Brit Med J. 1970; 3: 130–2.
6.Smith DM. Modern farming In: Harrington JM, ed. Recent advances in Occupational Health. Edinburgh, New York: Churchill Livingstone 1987; 3: 5573.
7.Ellis WA. Leptospirosis. J Small Animal Pract 1986; 27: 683–92.
8.Bettelheim KA. Antibody levels to leptospirae among milkers in the South island of New Zealand. Proc 9th Int Congr Agric Med Rural Health 1984; 19.
9.Schenberg C, Gerichter ChB, Lindenbaum I. Leptospirosis in man, Israel 1970–79. Amer J Epidem 1982; 115: 352–8.
10.Muhlemann MF, Wright DJM. Emerging pattern of Lyme disease in the United Kingdom and Irish Republic. Lancet 1987: i; 260–2.
11.Schmutzhard E, Pohl P, Stanek G. Borrelia burgdorferi antibodies in patients with relapsing/remitting form and chronic progressive form of multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 1988; 51: 1215–18.
12.Tizard IR, Chauhan SS, Lai CH. The prevalence and epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in Ontario. J Hyg 1977; 78: 275–82.
13.Johnson AM, Roberts H, McDonald PJ. Age-sex distribution of toxoplasma antibody in the South Australian population. J Hyg 1980; 84: 315–20.
14.Konishi E, Takahashi J. Some epidemiological aspects of toxoplasma infections in a population of farmers in Japan. Int J Epidem 1987; 16: 277–81.
15.Connolly JH. Q fever in Northern Ireland. Brit Med J 1968; 1: 547–52.
16.Langley JM, Marrie TJ, Covert A, Waag DM, Williams JC. Poker player's pneumonia; an urban outbreak of Q fever following exposure to a parturient cat. N Eng J Med 1988; 319; 354–6.
17.Marrie TJ, Williams JC, Schlech III WF, Yates L. Q fever pneumonia associated with exposure to wild rabbits. Lancet 1986; i: 427–9.
18.Grayston JT, Kuo CC, Wang SP, Altman J. A new Chlamydia psittaci strain TWAR isolated in acute respiratory tract infections. N Engl J Med 1986; 315; 161–8.
19.Hobson D, Morgan-Capner P. Chlamydial antibodies in farmers in North-West England. Epidemiol Infect 1988; 101: 397404.
20.Cosgriff TM. Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome: four decades of research. Ann Int Med 1989; 110: 313–16.
21.Davies EA, Rooney PJ, Coyle PV, Simpson DIH, Montgomery IW, Stanford CF. Hantavirus and leptospira. Lancet 1988; ii: 460–1.
22.Smal CM, Fairley JS. The spread of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus in Ireland. Mammal Rev 1984; 14: 71–8.
23.Gajdusek DC. Muroid virus nephropathies and muroid viruses of the Hantaan virus group. Scand J Infect Dis 1982; 36: Suppl. 96108.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 8 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 98 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.