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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-21

Occupational exposure to hepatitis infection among Egyptian healthcare workers and hepatitis B vaccination

1 Department of Microbiology, Ahmed Maher Teaching Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
3 Infection Control Committee, Ahmed Maher Teaching Hospital, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Amal Saad-Hussein
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Research Centre, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-4293.186777

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Background/aim Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at a high risk for blood-borne pathogens due to their contact with patients and contaminated instruments. The present study aimed to determine the risk of exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among Egyptian HCWs in relation to the level of infection control education, the number of hepatitis B vaccine doses received, and the resulting immunity. Participants and methods This cross-sectional study was conducted on 228 HCWs. Hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B core antibody, hepatitis B surface antibody titer, and hepatitis C virus antibody (HCV-Ab) were tested by using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique. Real-time PCR for both HBV-DNA and HCV-RNA in serum was done with positive hepatitis B surface antigen and HCV-Ab, respectively. Results During the study period, 78% of the HCWs received full HBV vaccination; 73.6% of them were vaccinated in the last 5 years. Lack of protective hepatitis B surface antibody (HBs-Ab) titer was found in 27.2% of the participants. HCV-Ab was positive in 6.14% HCWs, being significantly higher in individuals 40 years of age or older when compared with those under 40. Half of those with positive HCV-Ab had HCV-RNA below the detection limit. Conclusion Implementation of infection control guidelines played a role in reducing the prevalence of HCV infection among HCWs and in vaccinating HCWs in the last 5 years. Adopting safety-engineered devices is required to help in the reduction of needle stick and sharp medical devices injuries and risk for blood-borne infections.

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