A case-control study was conducted to investigate an outbreak of 46 cases of cryptosporidiosis in visitors to a petting farm in England. Details of exposures on the farm were collected for 38 cases and 39 controls, recruited through snowball sampling. Multivariable logistic regression identified that cases were 5.5 times more likely than controls to have eaten without washing their hands [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.51-19.9, P = 0.01] and 10 times less likely to report being informed of risk of infection on arrival (odds ratio 0.10, 95% CI 0.01-0.71, P = 0.02). An uncommon Cryptosporidium parvum gp60 subtype (IIaA19G1R1) was identified in a lamb faecal sample and all subtyped cases (n = 22). We conclude that lack of verbal advice and non-compliance with hand washing are significantly associated with a risk of cryptosporidiosis on open farms. These findings highlight the public health importance of effectively communicating risk to petting farm visitors in order to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic infections.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015.
- hand hygiene
- public health