Hepatitis C virus among health care workers

Institute of Public Health and Social Medicine, University Federico II, Naples.
Minerva medica (Impact Factor: 0.91). 12/1996; 87(11):501-4.
Source: PubMed


The purpose of our study was to describe the results of a seroprevalence survey for HCV antibody among health care workers at our center. 961 specimens were consecutively obtained under code and screened for anti-HCV by the second generation immunoblot assay (RIBA 2) and hepatitis B core antibody by CORAB test. After serum samples were tested, we reviewed demographic data and categorized four groups: intravenous drug abusers (IVDAs), blood recipients, health care workers and apparently healthy subjects. 51/97 (52.6%) IVDAs, 8/77 (10.4%) transfusion recipients, 12/472 (2.5%) health care workers and 8/285 (2.8%) apparently healthy subjects were anti-HCV positive. Furthermore dividing health care personnel by type of profession we found that surgeons have a higher seroprevalence (4.3%) compared to other professions. Therefore severe preventive standards are required for health care workers.

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    • "Klein et al (1991) found significantly more dentists (1.7%) than blood donors (0.14%) to be seropositive for HCV, the highest rate (9%) was seen among oral surgeons. Higher prevalence rates have been reported for surgeons (4.3%) (DeMercato et al, 1996) and for health care workers involved with liver transplantation (5.3%) (Goetz et al, 1995) or working in internal medicine, pathology, or intensive care units (up to 7.1%) (Mihaly et al, 1996). The most important risk factor appears to be unintentional needlestick injury, and transmission of HCV by this route has been confirmed using sequence comparisons of HCV isolates (Mizuno et al, 1997; Suzuki et al, 1994). "
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