Penicillin dust exposure and penicillin resistance among pharmaceutical workers in Tehran, Iran

International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Ali Asghar FarshadRoksana Mirkazemi

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) adversely impacts the prevention and treatment of a wide range of infections and is considered as a serious threat to global public health. Occupational-related AMR is a neglected area of research. To assess exposure to penicillin dust, penicillin active materials, and to report the frequency of penicillin resistance among pharmaceutical workers in Tehran, Iran. A quasi-experimental study was conducted among workers on a penicillin production line in a pharmaceutical company (n = 60) and workers in a food producing company (n = 60). Data were collected via survey, air sampling, and throat swab. The mean overall concentrations of penicillin dust and penicillin active material were 6.6 and 4.3 mg/m3, respectively, in the pharmaceutical industry. Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) was detected in 45% (27) individuals in the exposed group, 92.6% of which showed penicillin resistance. Resistance was significantly higher among workers in penicillin production line (p = 0.014). High level of AMR among workers in penicillin production line is a health risk for the workers as well as society as a whole through the spread of drug resistant micro-organisms.

References

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