2014 Volume 52 Issue 3 Pages 256-261
Allergy to laboratory animals is a well known occupational hazard and remains a health concern for individuals in contact with lab animals. This study evaluates the prevalence of allergy symptoms among medical researchers exposed to laboratory animals. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey, involving subjects (n=169, 21–59 yr), working in Kochi Medical School, Japan. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms related to contact with laboratory animals. The overall response rate was 86.2%. The prevalence of laboratory animal allergy was 17.6%. The symptoms most reported were allergic rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma. A small number of the subjects received education on the allergy issue and 62.5% of subjects with an allergy to laboratory animals claimed to have atopy. Protection from animal allergens should be a high priority for institutions using lab animals; providing continuous education to animal handlers would be meaningful to reduce and control exposure.