oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Respiratory health effects in poultry workers : allergies in the workplace

Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



The South African poultry industry dominates the agricultural sector with more poultry products consumed annually than all other animal-protein sources combined. Individuals involved in animal production, particularly poultry workers, have been reported to have a greater prevalence of respiratory symptoms than other farmers or rural residents. This review focuses on respiratory diseases associated with poultry work published in the literature from 1980-2014. The review confirms that poultry workers are at increased risk of developing adverse respiratory health outcomes that may be attributed to exposure to dust and other airborne contaminants in poultry-house environments. Further research needs to focus on describing, in more detail, the various respiratory phenotypes and their prevalence in poultry workers. More studies need to explore the interaction between the complex environmental exposures and host risk factors in causing respiratory disease in this group of workers.

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