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Nasal Carriage of Viral Pathogens in Malaysian Swine Workers: A One Health Pilot Study


May 15, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Project Objectives

An estimated 75% of emerging infections in humans are zoonotic. The large livestock operations and dense human populations of Southeast Asia are considered a hot-spot for the generation of cross-species infections, posing a serious risk of future pandemics. The objective of this study is to employ molecular laboratory analyses for evidence that swine viruses EMCV, PCV2, PRRSV, and porcine rotavirus may be aerosolized at the animal-interface and enter the nasal airways of humans working in these environments. Swine environments and open animal markets will be identified and enrolled in Sarawak to conduct surveillance for the aforementioned viruses. Swine environment facility managers will be given a brief questionnaire about the facilities biosecurity measures upon enrollment (n=15). Environmental samples including pig oral secretion, pig fecal, and bioaerosol samples (n=50 for each) will be collected as facilities permit. Finally, animal workers will be asked to permit collection of a nasal wash sample and to complete a brief survey on their individual exposure to animals, PPE use, and perceptions of zoonotic pathogens (n=100). Samples will be tested for viruses using rRT-PCR at Sibu and Kapit Hospitals. While finding molecular evidence of animal pathogens in animal workers’ nasal passageways does not prove human infection, it would add to our understanding the risk these pathogens pose to humans and provide necessary first-step evidence for future more comprehensive studies. Ultimately, evidence of novel zoonotic viruses would aid agriculture industries in controlling these pathogens in their livestock and reducing the risk of infections in humans.

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