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Shigellosis due to occupational contact with non-human primates

  • F. M. Kennedy (a1), J. Astbury (a2), J. R. Needham (a3) and T. Cheasty (a4)

Summary

A small cluster of dysenteric illness, due to Shigella flexneri, was identified among technical assistants of a primate research unit. All of the affected individuals had been in regular contact with a colony of cynomolgus macaque monkeys, one of which was known to have suffered from acute haemorrhagic colitis in the preceding few weeks. Four monkeys were found to be excreting S. flexneri bacilli of identical antigen type (lb) to that isolated from the human cases. Investigation of working practices revealed the potential for inadvertent faecooral spread and the need to improve existing control methods. We conclude that this small outbreak of shigellosis represents a primate-associated occupational zoonosis. The risk may not be fully appreciated by handlers or their doctors.

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References

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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