Workers exposed to pigs can develop meningitis, sepsis or endocarditis due to infection with Streptococcus suis transmitted from pigs to man.
To estimate the risk of these diseases.
We used the Occupational Hospitalization Register (OHR) which holds information about occupation and hospital treatments for all adults in Denmark. A dynamic population of male workers exposed to pigs was identified every year from 1995 to 2006 by occupational and industrial groups. First hospital treatment or death in the following year due to meningitis, sepsis or endocarditis was identified by ICD-10 codes from the OHR. By comparison with all other economically active men in Denmark, the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated for these diseases.
Among those exposed, we observed 32 cases of meningitis, sepsis and endocarditis during 140,118 person-years. In the reference group, we observed 2680 cases during 15,209,394 person-years. The SIR of the exposed group was 1.35 (95% CI: 0.95-1.92). Among the 32 cases, 7 cases of meningitis and sepsis were specified as caused by infection with streptococci. The SIR for these seven cases was 2.4 (95% CI: 1.1-5.0).
Our study did not find that workers exposed to pigs had an overall increased risk of developing meningitis, sepsis or endocarditis.