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Pig Exposure and Health Outcomes in Hospitalized Infectious Disease Patients in Vietnam

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Original languageEnglish
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2019


Many infectious diseases have a zoonotic origin, and several have had major public health implications. Contact with animals is a known risk factor for zoonotic infections, although there are limited data on disease symptoms and pathogens associated with contact with different animal species. The rise in pig production in Southeast Asia has contributed to the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic infections caused by contact with pigs and pig products. To compare the symptom and pathogen profiles of hospitalized patients with and without pig contact, we collected data on disease symptoms, infecting pathogens, and animal contact behaviour from patients attending six hospitals across Vietnam between 2012 and 2016. Patients who had previous contact with pigs were more likely to have enteric disease than respiratory or central nervous system infections and were more likely to grow Escherichia coli and Shigella from stool culture than those without pig contact. Patients with enteric infections who kept pigs were also more likely to have a disease of unknown origin. Public health initiatives that account for differences in animal contact behaviours and offer more comprehensive diagnostics in high-risk individuals are needed if emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic disease is to be monitored and prevented.

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