Zoonoses in rural veterinarians in the central region of Argentina

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ObjectiveTo estimate the frequency of zoonoses in rural veterinarians and to search for risk factors.DesignCross-sectional study based on an anonymously answered structured questionnaire.SettingThe interviewees participated in mandatory continuing education classes scheduled throughout the province by the College of Veterinary Surgeons.ParticipantsOverall, 741 professionals were surveyed, and 75.8% (n = 562) of them completed the structured questionnaire.Main outcome measuresCumulative incidence (CIR) and incidence density (IDR) rates, standardised rates, χ2, Student's t-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient and logistic regression.ResultsThe CIR for all zoonoses was 34.1% (brucellosis, 29.1%; toxoplasmosis, 2.1%; leptospirosis, 0.6%; tuberculosis, 0.6%; anthrax, 0.6%; ringworm, 0.4%; other, 0.6%). The IDR for the period 1964–2008 was estimated to be 20.7% (19.5% for brucellosis). The brucellosis IDR decreased between 1964 and 2008 and was higher during early post-graduation. The risk of brucellosis was associated with the number of years of practice and the geographical area. Sixty-nine respondents had at least one day of absence from work (24.0 ± 27.8 days).ConclusionsA high frequency of zoonoses was reported by veterinarians with a large animal practice. Although the rate of zoonoses may be decreasing, further studies are needed to confirm this finding. A joint effort of all institutions is needed to prevent zoonoses among private practitioners.

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