The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalences to zoonotic pathogens in hunters, to propose preventive measures and to obtain more information about the occurrence of zoonotic pathogens in local wild animal populations. From 146 male and 3 female hunters originating from the south-eastern Austrian federal states of Styria and Burgenland blood samples were taken and anamnestic data were obtained using a questionnaire. The serological investigations included the following viral, bacterial and parasitic zoonotic agents or zoonoses, respectively (antibody-seroprevalences in brackets): encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV, 15%), Puumala-Hantavirus (10%), Newcastle Disease virus (NDV, 4%), borreliosis (IgG 42%, IgM 7%), brucellosis (1%), chlamydiosis (3%), ehrlichiosis (IgG 15%, IgM 3%), leptospirosis (10%), tularaemia (3%), Q fever (0%), Echinococcus multilocularis/E. granulosus (5%/11%), toxocariasis (17%). Out of a control group of 50 persons (urban population, no hunters) only one person was found to be seropositive for Toxocara canis and NDV and four for EMCV, all other results were negative in the control group. The high seroprevalences especially to Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Ehrlichia spp., Leptospira interrogans, E. granulosus, E. multilocularis, encephalomyocarditis virus and Punmala virus demonstrate that hunters are particularly exposed to zoonotic pathogens. It should also be noted that one hunter was seropositive for Brucella abortus and five exhibited antibodies to Francisella tularensis. In these cases, as well as in the cases of the 15 seropositives for Leptospira interrogans, the suspected source of infection may - besides rodents - also include wild boars and brown hares. The infections with NDV and Chlamydophila psittaci may be traced back to contact with certain species of birds (potential risk: aviaries). For Hantaviruses, rodents are considered to be the main source of human infections.
|Translated title of the contribution||Sero-epidemiological studies of zoonotic infections in hunters in South-Eastern Austria - Prevalences, risk factors, prophylaxis|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Berliner und Munchener Tierarztliche Wochenschrift|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2003|
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas