Low prevalence of hepatitis B and C infections among the healthcare workers despite low vaccination coverage for hepatitis B in Mumbai

Dharmesh K. Shah, Samit S. Jain, Amol A. Khot, Amit R. Gharat, Girish C. Rajadhyaksha, Pravin M. Rathi


Background: The risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections through exposure to blood or its products and contact with other body fluids is high amongst health care workers (HCWs). Despite potential risks, a proportion of HCWs never get vaccinated. This study aimed to investigate the vaccination practices and the prevalence of HBV infection in HCWs. Aims: To determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV, their possible association with occupational and non-occupational risk factors. We also studied the prevalence of vaccination for hepatitis B in different subgroups of study population. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, total 1347 hospital staffs were screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. HBV is detected by HBsAg testing, and HCV is detected by anti-HCV testing by ELISA method. Positive results were confirmed by HBV DNA testing (Qualitative) and HCV RNA testing (Qualitative). A questionnaire used to collect data from study participants was pre-designed by the authors. Results: Out of total 1347 hospital staffs screened, 6 (0.4%) were HBsAg-positive and 2 (0.1%) were anti-HCV-positive. Only 54% had a history of complete vaccination, and 0.3% had incomplete vaccination. Vaccination coverage was highest in residents (76.7%), medical students (68.9%), nursing (66.1%), and teachers (61.4%) and lowest in servants (5.4%), office staff (6.6%), and lab technicians (24.3%). Awareness about the risk factor for transmission of HBV and HCV and complication related to them was 77.7%. It was highest in teachers (93.9%) and residents (97.8%), lowest in servants (16.3%). No statistically significant difference in the exposure to various risk factors among those who are HBsAg or anti-HCV-positive and HBsAg or anti-HCV-negative. Conclusions: The prevalence of HBV and HCV infection is not high in hospital staff than general population. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage was below expectation in all the subgroups even in resident doctors and teachers.



Health care workers, hepatitis B, hepatitis B vaccination

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