University of Saudi Arabia, KSA
Title: Laboratory health care workers are at a high risk due to infectious occupational risks of Brucella
Meshref A Al-Ruwaili is an Associate Professor in Al-Jouf University, and Member of American Society for Microbiology and Saudi Society for Food and Nutrition. He has published 22 scientific papers in various journals.
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease of animals (zoonosis) that under certain circumstances can be transmitted to humans. Brucella spp. particularly B. melitensis, B. abortus, and B. suis represent a significant public health concern in many countries worldwide. It is well documented that brucellosis has been associated with laboratory-acquired infections. However, Saudi Arabia is hyperendemic for brucellosis, with more than 8000 cases reported each year to public health authorities. This highlights the need to maintain the preventive measures amongst laboratory workers against infectious occupational risks of brucellosis. The important means of prevention include careful wound dressing, use of protective measures like wearing glasses, wearing of disposal medical gloves and clothing. Laboratory workers should be educated about transmission routes, risks and prevention of laboratory-acquired infection when first recruited for work and periodically afterwards. Increased adherence to personal protective equipment and use of biosafety cabinet should be priority targets to prevent laboratory-acquired infection like brucellosis. Work is ongoing to find an effective vaccine for humans. There is controversy about the effectiveness of post exposure antimicrobial prophylaxis.