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  • Author: Violetta Zając x
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Open access

Angelina Wójcik-Fatla, Jacek Sroka, Violetta Zając, Jacek Zwoliński, Anna Sawczyn-Domańska, Anna Kloc, Ewa Bilska-Zając, Robert Chmura and Jacek Dutkiewicz



Exposure to zoonotic factors in veterinary practice is closely related to the nature of the work. The main aim of the study was to determine the risk of selected zoonotic infections among the occupational group of veterinarians in Poland.

Material and Methods

Blood samples of 373 veterinarians (162 males and 211 females) from 12 provinces of Poland were collected by the venipuncture of a forearm for serological tests. Commercial immunoenzymatic tests (ELISA) were used for detection of specific IgG antibodies to Echinococcus granulosus, IgM and IgG to Leptospira spp., and IgM, IgA, and I and II phase IgG to Coxiella burnetii. Enzyme-linked fluorescence assays (ELFA) were used to detect IgM and IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii.


Positive results were found in 209 (56.0%) veterinarians for at least one of the examined diseases. The overall proportion of participants found to have specific Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in the IgM and/or IgG assays amounted to 44.5%. The presence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies was found in 16 (4.3%) subjects, while Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 63 (16.9%) veterinarians. Among the 373 veterinarians examined, no Echinococcus granulosus antibodies were found.


Results of the study seem to indicate a slightly elevated risk of Toxoplasma gondii infection and a moderate risk of infection with Leptospira spp. and Coxiella burnetii in veterinarians.

Open access

Ewa Cisak, Angelina Wójcik-Fatla, Jacek Sroka, Violetta Zając, Ewa Bilska-Zając, Ewa Chmurzyńska and Jacek Dutkiewicz


Serum samples from 123 cattle, 95 wild boars, and 43 deer (red deer, roe deer, and fallow deer) from the territory of eastern Poland were examined by the ELISA for the presence of specific antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). The rates of positive response in the animals were 4.1%, 16.8%, and 11.6%, respectively. Examination of 37 blood samples from deer with RT-PCR revealed only one positive result in a roe deer (2.7%). The relatively high serologic response rate in wild boars was due to a very high response rate (35.7%) in the Chełm district, which accounted for 94% of the total positive results. These findings seem to indicate that the Chełm district is most probably an endemic area of TBEV.

Open access

Bernard Wasiński, Jacek Sroka, Angelina Wójcik-Fatla, Violetta Zając, Ewa Cisak, Józef P. Knap, Anna Sawczyn and Jacek Dutkiewicz


Blood serum samples collected from randomly selected groups of 32 pigs and 41 cows reared in farms belonging to the rural community “A” located in eastern Poland and exposed to the Vistula river floods, and serum samples from groups of 41 pigs and 40 cows from farms belonging to the rural community “B” located also in eastern Poland but not in the area exposed to floods, were examined by the microscopic agglutination test for the presence of antibodies against 18 Leptospira serovars. The percentage of serum samples presenting positive results with at least one serovar were higher in pigs and cows from community “A” comparing to community “B” (34.4% vs. 4.9% and 26.8% vs. 15.0%, respectively). In the case of pigs, the difference was statistically significant (P=0.0015). The reactions with 12 Leptospira serovars (Australis, Bataviae, Bratislava, Canicola, Hardjo, Hebdomadis, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pomona, Poi, Cynopteri, Grippotyphosa, Celledoni,), belonging to four species (L. interrogans, L. borgpetersenii, L. kirschneri, L. weili) were found in the examined animals. In community “B”, six reactions with one serovar and two reactions with two serovars were noted whereas in community “A” - 19 reactions with one serovar, one reaction with two serovars and two reactions with six serovars were observed. The titres in animals reared in community “A” were significantly higher (up to 25,600) compared to community “B” (up to 200, P=0.0094). The obtained results suggest that the exposure to flooding may increase the infection rate in pigs and cows from afflicted areas to some extent.

Open access

Jacek Sroka, Zygmunt Giżejewski, Angelina Wójcik-Fatla, Krzysztof Stojecki, Ewa Bilska-Zając, Jacek Dutkiewicz, Tomasz Cencek, Jacek Karamon, Violetta Zając, Paweł Kusyk, Joanna Dąbrowska and Maciej Kochanowski


The purpose of this study was to assess the possible influence of beavers on the contamination of lake water with zoonotic parasites Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., with respect to the risk to human health. A total of 79 water samples were taken around the habitats of beavers from 14 localities situated in the recreational Masurian Lake District (north-eastern Poland). Water was sampled in the spring and autumn seasons, at different distances from beavers’ lodges (0-2, 10, 30, and 50 m). The samples were examined for the presence of (oo)cysts of zoonotic protozoa Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. by direct fluorescence assay (DFA) and by nested and real time PCR. By DFA, the presence of Giardia cysts was found in 36 samples (45.6%) and the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in 26 samples (32.9%). Numbers of Giardia cysts, Cryptosporidium oocysts, and summarised (oo)cysts of both parasites showed a significant variation depending on locality. The numbers of Giardia cysts significantly decreased with the distance from beavers’ lodges while the numbers of Cryptosporidium oocysts did not show such dependence. The amount of Giardia cysts in samples collected in spring was approximately 3 times higher than in autumn. Conversely, a larger number of Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in samples collected in autumn than in spring. By PCR, Giardia DNA was found in 38 samples (48.1%) whereas DNA of Cryptosporidium was found in only 7 samples (8.9%). Eleven Giardia isolates were subjected to phylogenetic analysis by restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR or sequencing which evidenced their belonging to zoonotic assemblages: A (3 isolates) and B (8 isolates). In conclusion, water in the vicinity of beavers’ lodges in the tested region was markedly contaminated with (oo)cysts of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., which confirms the potential role of beavers as a reservoir of these parasites and indicates a need for implementation of appropriate preventive measures to protect tourists’ health.