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Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 2009 Oct 15;134(20):840-6.

[Health effects of occupational endotoxin exposure: a review and relevance to veterinary practice].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Institute for Risk Assessment Studies, Universiteit Utrecht, Postbus 80.178, 3508 TD Utrecht. L.A.Smit@uu.nl

Abstract

Endotoxins are cell-wall components of Gram-negative bacteria that are commonly present in plants and plant products and in faecal matter. This review presents an overview of endotoxin exposure levels, associated health effects, and relevance regarding veterinary practice. Exposure to airborne endotoxin is especially high in the agricultural sector and among veterinarians, and in particular among those working with horses or farm animals. Inhalation of endotoxins may cause acute airway inflammation and respiratory symptoms that can lead to (non-allergic) asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in individuals with prolonged exposure to high levels of endotoxins. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that individuals exposed to high levels of endotoxin also have a lower risk of allergic conditions such as hay fever. Although endotoxin may protect against allergies, it is essential to reduce exposure levels in the agricultural sector in order to prevent workers from developing chronic non-allergic respiratory disorders.

PMID:
19891327
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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