Sero-epidemiologic study of helicobacter pylori in cowherds of Shahrekord province
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a common infection in developing countries, causing chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric malignancies. Its main transmission methods include human-human transmission, especially in early childhood, environmental (water supply and hygiene) and zoonotic factors. Some researchers have suggested that pigs, cats, and dogs are infected with Helicobacter and sheep is suggested as an important animal reservoir of H. pylori, causing infection in shepherds. Accordingly, cowherds might also be prone to H. pylori infection, while studies have scarcely addressed this issue. Thus, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of H. pylori infection in cowherds of Shahrekord province. In this cross-sectional study, conducted from June to October 2016, 80 cowherds with at least three days a week involvement with cows were compared with a matched control group from their neighbors with no direct contact with cows. Demographic information, including age, sex, job experience, educational level, number of family members, history of cancer or peptic ulcer, gastric symptoms, including epigastric pain, nausea/vomiting, and heartburn were collected. One blood sample was taken from all participants for ELISA measurement of H. pylori. Mean±SD age of participants was 35.8±14.3 (P>0.05). Serum examination of H. pylori showed positive IgG in 89 participants (55.6%), which was 57.5% in the case group and 53.8% in the control group (P>0.05). The prevalence of gastric symptoms was not statistically significant different between the groups and there was also no association between presence of H. pylori and gastric symptoms or demographic variables, including age, sex, job, educational level, marital status, and number of family members (P>0.05). Cowherds have the same prevalence of H. pylori infection than the control group that suggests that cows are not a potential zoonotic factor for H. pylori infection in cowherds.
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