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Publication Details

Title :

Acquisition of respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens among health care workers during the 2015 Hajj season

Journal:

American Journal of Infection Control

Impact Factor:

1.971

Authors:

Yezli S1, Alotaibi B2, Al-Abdely H3, Balkhy HH4, Yassin Y2, Mushi A2, Maashi F2, Pezzi L5, Benkouiten S6, Charrel R5, Raoult D7, Gautret P6.

Affiliations:

1 Global Centre for Mass Gatherings Medicine, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: saber.yezli@gmail.com.

2 Global Centre for Mass Gatherings Medicine, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3 General Directorate of Infection Prevention and Control, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

4 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Infection Prevention and Control Department, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNGHA), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5 UMR “Emergence des Pathologies Virales” (EPV: Aix-Marseille Univ-IRD 190-Inserm 1207-EHESP-IHU Méditerranée Infection), Marseille, France.

6 Aix Marseille Univ, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Microbes Vecteurs Infections Tropicales et Méditerranéennes (VITROME), Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire-Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France.

7 Aix Marseille Univ, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Evolution Phylogénie et Infections (MEPHI), Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire-Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France.

Year of Publication:

2019

DOI:

10.1016/j.ajic.2019.02.033

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:
Data on the risk of transmission of infection to health care workers (HCWs) serving ill pilgrims during the Hajj is scarce.

METHODS:
Two cohorts of HCWs, the first serving Hajj pilgrims in Mecca and the second serving patients in Al-Ahsa, were investigated for respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms and pathogen carriage using multiplex polymerase chain reaction before and after the 2015 Hajj.

RESULTS:
A total of 211 HCWs were enrolled of whom 92 were exposed to pilgrims (Mecca cohort), whereas 119 were not exposed (Al-Ahsa cohort). Symptoms were observed only in HCWs from the Mecca cohort, with 29.3% experiencing respiratory symptoms during the Hajj period or in the subsequent days and 3.3% having gastrointestinal symptoms. Acquisition rates of at least 1 respiratory virus were 14.7% in the Mecca cohort and 3.4% in the Al-Ahsa cohort (P = .003). Acquisition rates of at least 1 respiratory bacterium were 11.8% and 18.6% in the Mecca and Al-Ahsa cohorts, respectively (P = .09). Gastrointestinal pathogens were rarely isolated in both cohorts of HCWs and acquisition of pathogens after the Hajj was documented in only a few individuals.

CONCLUSION:
HCWs providing care for pilgrims both acquire pathogens and present symptoms (especially respiratory symptoms) more frequently than those not working during Hajj.