Exposure to microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials may constitute a health risk to human populations. It is believed that one route of exposure occurs when people engage in recreational activities in water contaminated with these microorganisms. The main objective of this study was to explore population-level and environmental determinants specifically associated with the presence of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) generic Escherichia coli isolated from recreational waters sampled from beaches located in southern Quebec, Canada. Water samples originated from the Quebec provincial beach surveillance program for the summers of 2004 and 2005. This study focused on three classes of determinants, namely: agricultural, population-level and beach characteristics for a total of 19 specific factors. The study was designed as a retrospective observational analysis and factors were assessed using logistic regression methods. From the multivariable analysis, the data suggested that the percentage of land used for spreading liquid manure was a significant factor associated with the presence of AMR E. coli (OR=27.73). Conceptually, broad factors potentially influencing the presence of AMR bacteria in water must be assessed specifically in addition to factors associated with general microbial contamination. Presence of AMR E. coli in recreational waters from beaches in southern Quebec may represent a risk for people engaging in water activities and this study provides preliminary evidence that agricultural practices, specifically spreading liquid manure in agricultural lands nearby beaches, may be linked to the contamination of these waters by AMR E. coli.
To evaluate associations between indicators of livestock farming intensity (manure surplus and livestock density) and acute gastroenteritis hospitalization (AGH) rate, we conducted an ecological study on 306 selected agricultural municipalities of Quebec. We estimated the AGH rate for the period 2000-2004 from the Quebec hospital database. Multivariate Poisson regression was used to estimate the strength of association between the farming indicators and AGH with adjustment for confounders. The modifying effect of age and water source was also evaluated. Association between manure and AGH was observed in children, especially those aged 0-4 years for selected zoonotic infections [adjusted hospitalization rate ratio (aHRR) 1.93, 95% CI 1.21-3.09]. The risk ratio was higher for subjects using ground-water source. An increasing HRR trend with each additional level of poultry density was observed in children aged 0-4 years, especially for Salmonella infections. We conclude that livestock farming intensity may be linked to bacterial acute gastroenteritis in children.
This study was designed to evaluate the association of potential zoonotic gastroenteritis in children, and specifically giardiasis, salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis, with environmental risk factors in rural areas of Quebec. Notified cases of gastroenteritis in children of 0-4 years of age reported in the period of 1999 through 2006 from municipalities in southern Quebec with
To determine the effect of lead contamination around a lead-reclamation plant on the blood lead levels of children and pregnant women living in the area.
Residents living 150 m or less (high-exposure area), 151 to 400 m (intermediate-exposure area) or 401 to 800 m (low-exposure area) southeast from the plant.
All children aged 10 years or less and all pregnant women living in the designated area.
Correlation of venous blood lead levels with soil lead concentrations in the areas in which the subjects lived and with sociodemographic and behavioural factors.
Of the estimated 57 pregnant women 38 (67%) participated: 20 were in the high-exposure area and 18 in the other two areas; their geometric mean blood lead levels were low (0.15 and 0.13 mumol/L respectively). Of the 625 eligible children 510 (82%) participated: 169 were in the high-exposure area, 179 in the intermediate-exposure area and 162 in the low-exposure area; their geometric mean lead levels were 0.43, 0.30 and 0.26 mumol/L respectively. Within each age group children in the high-exposure area had the highest levels. The mean levels for children aged 6 months to 5 years were 0.49, 0.35 and 0.28 mumol/L in the three areas respectively. Within each exposure group children aged 1 to 2 years had the highest levels. No potential confounding variables could explain the relation between blood lead level and soil lead concentration.
The pregnant women's blood lead levels did not seem to be affected by exposure level, but the children's levels were primarily related to the soil lead concentration.
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To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection and the epidemiologic risk factors for chlamydial infection in the Quebec City region, screening was done with an enzyme immunoassay in 920 females who attended an abortion clinic between November 1985 and June 1986. The organism was detected in 105 (11.4%) of the patients. After adjustment for confounding variables, four variables were found to be independent risk factors for chlamydial infection: age 24 years or less (prevalence ratio 3.0 [p less than 0.001]), two or more sexual partners during the previous year (prevalence ratio 1.8 [p = 0.001]), no contraception or the use of a nonbarrier method (prevalence ratio 1.9 [p = 0.030]) and living in an urban area (prevalence ratio 1.6 [p = 0.046]). The results confirm that chlamydial infection is prevalent in this population. The identified risk factors may prove useful in determining the target population for screening programs.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of cigarette smoking (active and passive exposure) and alcohol consumption during pregnancy on cord blood lead levels. In 1990, a survey was conducted in two hospitals in Québec City, Québec, Canada, a white-collar agglomeration. The sample included 430 mothers and their newborns. Information on the lifestyles of mothers during pregnancy was obtained by questionnaire. Cord blood lead concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. A dose-response relation was found between cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption of mothers and cord blood lead levels. An average increase of about 15 percent (0.013 mumol/liter) in cord blood lead levels was estimated for every 10 cigarettes smoked per day. Mean blood lead levels in babies whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy but who drank alcohol moderately was 17 percent higher than those of nonsmoking mothers who abstained from alcohol intake. Multivariate analyses revealed that both cigarette smoking and alcohol intake make significant and independent contributions to cord blood lead concentrations. Lifestyles of pregnant women thus appear to play an important role in the prenatal lead exposure of newborns. Because of the potential effects of lead exposure on pregnancy outcomes, our study provides further arguments to support public health advisories concerning the harmful effect of smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a 735-kV transmission line on the electric and magnetic field exposures of people living at the edge of the line's right of way. Exposure of 18 adults, mostly white-collar workers, living in different bungalows located 190-240 feet from the line (exposed subjects) was compared to that of 17 adults living in similar residences far away from any transmission line. Each subject carried a Positron meter for 24 hr during 1 workday, which measured 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields every minute. All measurements were carried out in parallel for exposed and unexposed subjects during the same weeks between September and December. During measurements the average loading on the line varied between 600 and 1100 A. The average magnetic field intensity while at home was 4.4 times higher among exposed subjects than unexposed (7.1 versus 1.6 mG, p = 0.0001) and 6.2 times higher when considering only the sleeping period (6.8 versus 1.1 mG, p = 0.0001). Based on the 24-hr measurement, average magnetic field exposure was three times higher among the exposed. Electric field intensity was also higher among the exposed while at home (26.3 versus 14.0 V/m, p = 0.03). Magnetic field intensity among the exposed was positively correlated with the loading on the line (r = 0.8, p = 0.001). Percentage of time above a magnetic field threshold (2 mG or 7.8 mG) was a good indicator to distinguish the two types of exposure.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The authors conducted a survey during 1992 to evaluate blood levels of lead and mercury in Inuit adults of Nunavik (Arctic Quebec, Canada). Blood samples obtained from 492 participants (209 males and 283 females; mean age = 35 yr) were analyzed for lead and total mercury; mean (geometric) concentrations were 0.42 micromol/l (range = 0.04-2.28 micromol/l) and 79.6 nmol/l (range = 4-560 nmol/l), respectively. Concentrations of omega-3 fatty acid in plasma phospholipids--a biomarker of marine food consumption--were correlated with mercury (r = .56, p