Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Healthcare Workers of a Tertiary Care Centre in India and Their Vaccination Status

Singhal, Varsha; Bora, Dhrubajyoti; Singh, Sarman
April 2011
Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination;2011, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Healthcare Workers have a high risk of occupational exposure to many blood-borne diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viral infections. Of these Hepatitis B is not only the most transmissible infection, but also the only one that is preventable by vaccination. Objectives: This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infection in healthcare workers (HCWs) employed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and to measure protective levels of anti-HBs antibody titre in them. Methods: A total of 446 Health care workers are grouped in 7 categories according to nature of their work. After ethical clearance and written consent, all health care workers were explained about the objective of the study and were asked to fill a standard questionnaire regarding their personal health information. Their blood samples were tested by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-HBs antibody titres. Results and Interpretation: Out of 446 HCWs, 252 (56.5%) were vaccinated. In 199 (79%) of those vaccinated persons, protective levels (>10 IU/ mL) of anti-Hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) were seen. However, protective levels were also detected in 36 (19.35%) of 186 unvaccinated HCW as natural immunity (p<0.001). The antibody levels were significantly lower in those who were vaccinated more than 5 years ago than those who were vaccinated in last 5 years. Only 2 (0.4%) HCWs were found to be HBsAg positive. A significant number (41.7%) of HCW are unvaccinated even at this apex health care centre suggesting a need for proactive implementation of HBV vaccination programme.


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