Lab animal allergy surveillance at a private medical school in three dissimilar animal research facilities

Jeffrey P Feinberg, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Very few studies have described MUP-1 concentrations and measured prevalence of Laboratory Animal Allergy (LAA) at such a diverse institution as the private medical school (MS) that is the focus of this study. Air sampling was performed in three dissimilar animal research facilities at MS and quantitated using a commercially available ELISA. Descriptive data was obtained from an anonymous laboratory animal allergy survey given to both animal facility employees and the researchers who utilize these facilities alike. Logistic regression analysis was then implemented to investigate specific factors that may be predictive of developing LAA as well as factors influencing the reporting of LAA symptoms to the occupational health program. Concentrations of MUP-1 detected ranged from below detectable levels (BDL) to a peak of 22.64 ng/m3 . Overall, 68 employees with symptoms claimed they improved while away from work and only 25 employees reported their symptoms to occupational health. Being Vietnamese, a smoker, not wearing a mask, and working in any facility longer than one year were all significant predictors of having LAA symptoms. This study suggests a LAA monitoring system that relies on self-reporting can be inadequate in estimating LAA problems. In addition, efforts need to be made to target training and educational materials for non-native English speaking employees to overcome language and cultural barriers and address their specific needs.

Subject Area

Occupational safety

Recommended Citation

Feinberg, Jeffrey P, "Lab animal allergy surveillance at a private medical school in three dissimilar animal research facilities" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447190.