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*Mohemid M Al-Jebouri and Ashwaq N Al-Doori


Background:Oil refineries cause smog and air pollution. Almost all refineries in every country currently pollute at unacceptable and unhealthy levels. Oil refineries are the largest sources of air pollution with large amounts of emissions those include heavy metals, very smaller size dust particles that get deep into lungs and harm ability to breathe. A number of air pollutants have been consistently linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease including asthma which has emerged as the principal occupational lung disease. Exacerbations have been associated with increases in ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. Methods:This study was carried out to isolate and identify the bacterial pathogens causing respiratory infections from patients working in Al-Baiji oil refinery to identify the impact of pollutants from this environment on the nature of bacterial pathogens spread there through comparison with the bacterial isolates causing respiratory infections with or without asthma leading to suspected elevation in immunoglobulin E. A total number of 200 samples were taken, including swabs, sputa and sera of workers in oil refinery with respiratory infections and other 200 patients who attended Tikrit Teaching hospital as control samples for comparison. Swabs and sputa were cultured. 231 and 209 strains were isolated from the refinery and hospital respectively. The diagnosis of bacterial isolates was done according to the microscopic examination and the results of biochemical tests. The extraction of chromosomal DNA was carried out to estimate the mol% of G+C of DNA content of 15 unknown isolates which were difficult to be identified by conventional tests. Results: Large number of respiratory infections among refinery patients was found to be caused by various bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiceptica, Eikenella corrodens, Neisseria sicca, Neisseria subflava, Citrobacter diversus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Bacillus cereus, Aerococcus viridans, Actinomyses israelii, Arcanobacterium haemolyticum, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Stomatococcus mucilagenosus which did not appear among the patients of Tikrit Teaching Hospital. Conclusion: There was a relationship between allergies and asthma, and some bacterial infections of the respiratory system was associated with elevation in IgE concentration in workers sera.

Keywords: Infections,Allergy,asthma,IgE,Pollution,Oil refinery,Iraq.

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