Factors Affecting Transmission of Crimean - Congo Hemorrhagic Fever among Slaughterhouse Employees: A Serosurvey in Mashhad, Iran
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Background: Crimean - Congohemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a severe viral disease. Slaughterhouses are potentially high risk working environments for CCHF infection due to close contact of livestock and humans. Objectives: The current study aimed at conducting a serosurvey among abattoir workers and evaluating different factors affecting the transmission of CCHF. Methods: A serosurvey was conducted to determine the frequency of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) IgG antibodies among abattoir workers in Mashhad, Northeastern Iran. Sera were collected from 136 slaughterhouse workers and assessed by the enzyme - linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IgG CCHFV antibodies. In addition, a questionnaire was used to evaluate the risk factors involving in the transmission of the virus to the workers. Results: Serological evidence was observed in 39 out of 136 (29%) participants. The infection rate did not correlate with the work experience, type of livestock, and the permanent use of available personal protection equipment (PPE). However, standard hand disinfectants had a significant role in decreasing CCHFV IgG seropositivity (OR = 0.2, P = 0.004). Two out of 39 seropositive cases reported the history of hospitalization and CCHF infection diagnosis. Conclusions: The results of the study demonstrated that almost one-third of the investigated slaughterhouse workers were exposed to CCHFV, though the clinical manifestations were less than those of nosocomial transmissions. The currently used PPE could not protect workers against CCHFV infection; therefore, the need for effective preventive strategies for workers in the livestock industry should be emphasized.