Seroepidemiology of hepatitis C antibodies among dentists and their self-reported use of infection control measures

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Community dental health (Impact Factor: 0.6). 07/2009; 26(2):99-103. DOI: 10.1922/CDH_2231Ashkenazi05
Source: PubMed


To determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies among dentists graduated from various countries and assess the use of infection control measures in their dental practice.
The study included 301 Israeli dentists who attended an annual dental conference. Participants filled out a structured questionnaire regarding demographic (age, gender, number of siblings, number of children) and occupational characteristics. Venous blood was examined for presence of HCV antibodies by enzyme immunoassay and confirmed by a third generation line immunoassay, which assesses antibodies to HCV-core antigens (INN-LIA HCV Ab III update, 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity).
The prevalence of HCV antibodies among Israeli dentists was 1/301 (0.33%), similar to the prevalence range (0.1-0.5%) among the general Israeli population. The studied population included dentists (30.6%) who immigrated from Asia, Eastern Europe and the former USSR, where HCV prevalence ranges from 3.1% to 26.5%. Dentists routinely used gloves (99.6%), gown (93.3%), autoclaves (90.3%), dry heat (29.1%) and mask (81%). Dentists who graduated after 1985 used a mask or gown significantly more often than dentists who graduated before 1985 (p < 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively).
It seems that dentists who usually adhere to basic infection control measures are not at an increased risk for HCV.

Download full-text


Available from: Malka Ashkenazi,
  • Source
    • "; below detectable levels of HCV-PCR test or anti-HCV false positive (less than 1%) Negative Positive Early infection or chronic infection in immunosuppressed individuals Negative Negative Non-infected of HCV infection in this group is similar or even lower than that of the general population [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. The prevalence of HCV infection in DHCWs is shown in Table 1. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over 170 million patients worldwide are chronically infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV); making it a globally important infection. Dentists constantly handle sharp instruments infected with biological fluids and are therefore considered at high-risk of contracting HCV infection. Needle-stick injuries seem to be the most common route of exposure to blood-borne pathogens in dental practice. Moreover, endodontist's constant use of sharp instruments such as endodontic files with limited operative vision in a small working field (i.e. root canal system) increases their risk of exposure to infection. The aim of this study was to review the epidemiology of HCV infection in dental healthcare staff and the tests required for its diagnosis. We also look at the protocols for dental treatment in infected individuals and screening and dental examination tailored for HCV patients.
    Iranian Endodontic Journal 07/2014; 9(3):169-73.
  • Source
    • "In Brazil, a population-based study showed 1.38% of anti-HCV prevalence across the country (Brasil, 2012), but a survey conducted among blood donors from 5 geographical regions showed higher prevalence in the northern region (2.12%), low prevalence in the southern region (0.65%) and an Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry intermediate prevalence midwestern, northeastern and southeastern regions (1.04%, 1.19%, and 1.43%, respectively) (SBH, 1999). Different HCV prevalences were observed among dentists worldwide , varying from 0.4% to 0.9% in Brazil (Takahama et al, 2005; Resende et al, 2009), 0.33% in Israel (Ashkenazi et al, 2009), 0.5% in Germany (Ammon et al, 2000) and 1.75% in the USA (Klein et al, 1991). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a worldwide health problem, affecting over 130 million individuals. The virus is transmitted parenterally, making health care professionals a risk group for infection. For this reason it is important that dental health-care workers recognise the symptoms of the infection, which can be present in the oral cavities of hepatitis C-infected individuals. Moreover, dental health-care workers should know how to manage hepatitis C-infected individuals during dental treatment and the measures to prevent nosocomial spread of HCV. Thus, the purpose of this study was to perform a review of HCV epidemiology, natural history, transmission, diagnosis, treatment and prevention focusing on oral manifestations in and dental management strategies for HCV-infected individuals.
    Oral health & preventive dentistry 06/2014; 12(4). DOI:10.3290/j.ohpd.a32134 · 0.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The transmission of blood-borne viruses in dental offices is a potential hazard to patients and dental staff. The aim of the study was to clarify the current situation regarding hepatitis B virus vaccination, percutaneous injuries among members of the Lithuanian dental community. A confidential, self administered questionnaire was send to all 2235 Lithuanian general dental practitioners. The questionnaire collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, practice time, working place and environment, hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, history of hepatitis B infection, and needlestick and sharp instruments injury (NSII). Overall response rate was 64.7% (87.4% of them were women; 64.1% were working in five major cities of Lithuania and 60.8% in private clinics. Mean age of respondents was 44.8 (range 23 - 74 years). As much as 95.3% dentists expressed concern about the risk of cross-infection from patients to themselves and their dental assistants. Respondents reported: complete immunization against HBV (35.9%); previous hepatitis infection (4.3%); needlestick and sharp instruments injury (78.5%); collecting medical history about HBV from patients (30.9%). Despite a high risk of needlestick and sharp instruments injury in the dental practice as well as high risk of HBV infection and the existence of strong rules and recommendations for routine HBV vaccination, vaccine coverage among Lithuanian dentists cannot be assumed to be adequate. Further continuing education programs and stronger control measures might be suggested.
    Stomatologija / issued by public institution "Odontologijos studija" ... [et al.] 01/2011; 13(1):2-7.
Show more