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Work-related Helicobacter pylori infection among sewage workers in municipal wastewater treatment plants in Belgium.
Occup Environ Med. 2010 Feb; 67(2):91-7.OE

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Most studies among sewage workers of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have found a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms than among non-sewage exposed workers. Waterborne transmission of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) has been hypothesised, as the bacteria can survive into an aqueous environment and has been detected in sewage. A health and hygiene questionnaire has demonstrated a higher prevalence of peptic ulcers among Belgian WWTP operators and maintenance workers than among non-sewage exposed colleagues.

OBJECTIVES

To assess the seroprevalence of H pylori infection in Belgian sewage workers at municipal WWTPs, and to determine whether sewage exposure is an important risk factor for acquisition of H pylori and the possible association with gastrointestinal symptoms.

METHODS

A seroprevalence study of H pylori antibodies was conducted among 317 WWTP employees (operators, maintenance workers, laboratory personnel, other job). Information about demographic variables, possible H pylori risk factors, working history, and history of current gastrointestinal symptoms during last 3 months was obtained by a questionnaire. The presence of H pylori IgG was investigated with an ELISA. The results were compared with those of 250 employees of a pharmaceutical company (operators, maintenance workers, laboratory personnel).

RESULTS

The prevalence of H pylori IgG antibodies among sewage workers was 16.7% (95% CI 12.6 to 20.8%) compared to 13.6% (95% CI 9.4 to 17.8%) among the control group. In a logistic regression model with controlling for age and educational levels, OR study/control group was 1.02 (95% CI 0.58 to 1.80 with p=0.93). No significant associations were found between the H pylori status and gastrointestinal symptoms, occupational exposures in different tasks, nor with hygienic practices.

CONCLUSIONS

Our results do not suggest that H pylori infection is a probable cause of part of gastrointestinal symptoms among Flemish municipal sewage workers of WWTPs.

Authors+Show Affiliations

IDEWE, Interleuvenlaan 58, B-3001 Heverlee-Leuven, Belgium. wim.vanhooste@idewe.beNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20133459

Citation

Van Hooste, Wim, et al. "Work-related Helicobacter Pylori Infection Among Sewage Workers in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in Belgium." Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 67, no. 2, 2010, pp. 91-7.
Van Hooste W, Charlier AM, Rotsaert P, et al. Work-related Helicobacter pylori infection among sewage workers in municipal wastewater treatment plants in Belgium. Occup Environ Med. 2010;67(2):91-7.
Van Hooste, W., Charlier, A. M., Rotsaert, P., Bulterys, S., Moens, G., van Sprundel, M., & De Schryver, A. (2010). Work-related Helicobacter pylori infection among sewage workers in municipal wastewater treatment plants in Belgium. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 67(2), 91-7. https://doi.org/10.1136/oem.2008.040436
Van Hooste W, et al. Work-related Helicobacter Pylori Infection Among Sewage Workers in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in Belgium. Occup Environ Med. 2010;67(2):91-7. PubMed PMID: 20133459.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Work-related Helicobacter pylori infection among sewage workers in municipal wastewater treatment plants in Belgium. AU - Van Hooste,Wim, AU - Charlier,Anne-Marie, AU - Rotsaert,Paul, AU - Bulterys,Simon, AU - Moens,Guido, AU - van Sprundel,Marc, AU - De Schryver,Antoon, PY - 2010/2/6/entrez PY - 2010/2/6/pubmed PY - 2010/4/10/medline SP - 91 EP - 7 JF - Occupational and environmental medicine JO - Occup Environ Med VL - 67 IS - 2 N2 - INTRODUCTION: Most studies among sewage workers of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have found a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms than among non-sewage exposed workers. Waterborne transmission of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) has been hypothesised, as the bacteria can survive into an aqueous environment and has been detected in sewage. A health and hygiene questionnaire has demonstrated a higher prevalence of peptic ulcers among Belgian WWTP operators and maintenance workers than among non-sewage exposed colleagues. OBJECTIVES: To assess the seroprevalence of H pylori infection in Belgian sewage workers at municipal WWTPs, and to determine whether sewage exposure is an important risk factor for acquisition of H pylori and the possible association with gastrointestinal symptoms. METHODS: A seroprevalence study of H pylori antibodies was conducted among 317 WWTP employees (operators, maintenance workers, laboratory personnel, other job). Information about demographic variables, possible H pylori risk factors, working history, and history of current gastrointestinal symptoms during last 3 months was obtained by a questionnaire. The presence of H pylori IgG was investigated with an ELISA. The results were compared with those of 250 employees of a pharmaceutical company (operators, maintenance workers, laboratory personnel). RESULTS: The prevalence of H pylori IgG antibodies among sewage workers was 16.7% (95% CI 12.6 to 20.8%) compared to 13.6% (95% CI 9.4 to 17.8%) among the control group. In a logistic regression model with controlling for age and educational levels, OR study/control group was 1.02 (95% CI 0.58 to 1.80 with p=0.93). No significant associations were found between the H pylori status and gastrointestinal symptoms, occupational exposures in different tasks, nor with hygienic practices. CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not suggest that H pylori infection is a probable cause of part of gastrointestinal symptoms among Flemish municipal sewage workers of WWTPs. SN - 1470-7926 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20133459/Work_related_Helicobacter_pylori_infection_among_sewage_workers_in_municipal_wastewater_treatment_plants_in_Belgium_ L2 - https://oem.bmj.com/lookup/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20133459 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -