Narratives of One Health In Action - One Health Commission

Narratives of One Health In Action

One Health can provide a safe, 'no judgment zone' for many needed conversations surrounding our most difficult global and environmental health challenges. ‘Narratives of One Health in Action’ is a page where many items can be shared, from peer reviewed scientific case studies to examples of One Health successes (or missed opportunities) to Op Eds and Opinion Pieces. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily approved by the One Health Commission but are shared ‘because’ this is a safe, no judgement zone and we need to hear from many perspectives on many of today’s challenges. Thoughtful articles written in a professional tone will be considered for posting. Submit suggested items to

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October 2012

Oct 30
October 30
Serological Evidence of Potential Occupational Exposure to Leptospirosis in Kentucky Horse Farm Workers and Veterinarians

Sera from employees and horses residing on farms affected (AF) by outbreaks of

leptospirosis in Central Kentucky since 2006 were compared to farms unaffected (UF) by

these outbreaks during this same time period. A total of six farms, three farms from each

group, were compared (4 human subjects and 4 horses) for a total of 24 horses and 24

humans. Sera from a second group, veterinarians specializing in equine medicine (EV), were

also analyzed. This group contained 24 veterinarians with a range of exposure levels from no

known past exposure to individuals exposed five days previous to collection of sera. Each

farm manager completed a survey assessing farm management of horses. In addition,

veterinarians completed a survey regarding their equine medicine experience. Enzyme-linked

immunosorbent assays (ELISA) showed an increased risk of seroconversion to Leptospira in

5 (22%) of 23 equine veterinarians compared to zero (0%) of 24 farm workers (p=0.05).

Antibody levels for both sphingomyelinase 2 (Sph2) and leptospiral immunoglobulin-like

protein A (LigA) were significantly increased (p=0.03 and p=0.05 respectively) in

veterinarians. Indirect hemoagglutination (IHA) and microscopic agglutination (MAT) titers

were negative for all individuals participating in the study. Risk for seroconversion did not

appear to be influenced by the period of time from last exposure nor age of the individual.

There is an increased risk for seroconversion to Leptospira, without the appearance of clinical

disease, in EV compared to individuals working on Central Kentucky horse farms.

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