Chapter 15 : Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems

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Allergy to laboratory animals is a significant occupational hazard and among the most common conditions affecting the health of workers involved in the care and use of research animals. At least 90,000 workers in the United States have direct contact with animals in research or industrial facilities, although some sources estimate 40,000 to 125,000 (1, 2). Workers who are in regular contact with furred animals often develop sensitivity to these animals. This sensitivity accounts for the high prevalence of laboratory animal allergy (LAA) in animal workers, and cross-sectional studies have estimated that as high as 44% of individuals working with laboratory animals report work-related symptoms (3, 4). Veterinarians are also at risk with similar levels of allergy development with symptoms (5). Of these symptomatic workers, up to 25% may eventually develop occupational asthma that persists even after the exposure ceases (6). This high prevalence rate has major medical and economic implications. When employees develop LAA, it often results in significant morbidity, at times necessitating a change in occupation. In addition, it may lead to reduced productivity, increased workloads for others, and increased health and worker's compensation costs for the employer. Due to recent awareness and increased surveillance and monitoring, recent studies have actually seen a decline in occupational asthma over the last 25 years (7), but recent studies suggest vigilance is necessary (8). Familiarity with LAA, including its clinical characteristics, etiology, pathophysiology, treatment, and preventative measures, can be vital in reducing the economic and physical impact of this important occupational hazard.

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
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Table 1.

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
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Table 2.

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
Generic image for table

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
Generic image for table

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
Generic image for table

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15
Generic image for table

Citation: Phipatanakul W, Wood R. 2017. Allergens of Animal and Biological Systems, p 327-339. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch15

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