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RESEARCH ARTICLE
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Serologic evidence of rickettsial diseases associated with tick bites in workers of urban veterinary clinics


1 Departamento en Ciencias Veterinarias, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Autónoma de Cd. Juárez, Mexico
2 Departamento en Ciencias Químico biológicas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Autónoma de Cd. Juárez, Mexico

Correspondence Address:
Antonio De la Mora-Covarrubias,
Departamento en Ciencias Químico biológicas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Autónoma de Cd. Juárez, Av. Benjamín Franklin No. 4650, Zona PRONAF, 32310 Cd Juárez, Chihuahua
Mexico
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.308799

Background & objectives: Rickettsial and other zoonotic diseases are a latent risk for workers of veterinary clinics. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and the associated risk factors of parasitosis caused by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and to estimate the seroprevalence of rickettsial diseases in workers of urban veterinary clinics of Juárez city, México. Methods: The participants of the study were recruited from 63 private veterinary clinics and hospitals. The serological analysis of the blood samples collected was carried out using immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The statistical analysis for prevalences, risk factors, and correlation was performed with the SAS program. Results: In total, 167 veterinary workers were included in the study. The prevalence of tick bites was 40% (67/167), and the risk factors associated with the occurrence of bites included the activities performed in the clinic and the number of labour hours spent per week. About 21% (35/167) of participants were seropositive to R. rickettsii, 28% (47/167) to Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and 24% (40/167) to Anaplasma phagocytophilum. A correlation was observed between: the number of workers in the clinics and the proportion of tick bites (r2 = 0.865); the prevalence of bites and the seropositivity of the participants to at least one pathogen (r2 = 0.924); and the number of bites per individual and infection to pathogens (r2 = 0.838). Interpretation & conclusion: Workers in urban veterinary clinics are highly exposed to tick bites and, therefore, to the diseases they transmit. Hence, it is important to implement prevention measures and perform constant monitoring of these diseases.


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    -  Escárcega-Ávila AM
    -  Jiménez-Vega F
    -  Quezada-Casasola A
    -  Mora-Covarrubias AD
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