STATUS OF HBSAG PREVALENCE IN A DENTAL COMMUNITY – A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

Nivedita Chaudhary, Dr. Puneet Ahuja, Dr. Moulshree Kohli, Dr. Priyanka Kardam, Dr. Monica Mehendiratta

Abstract


Background: Hepatitis-B is one of the major public health problems and is a well-recognized risk factor amongst healthcare workers due to their occupational exposure. As such, it is of prime importance to understand the risk factors and the measures needed to avoid or overcome them.

Aim: To estimate the prevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigen amongst dental staff members and students.

Methods: A total of 462 Healthcare Workers were grouped in 5 categories according to the years of clinical exposure. After institutional ethical clearance and individual written consent, all Healthcare Workers were explained about the objective of the study and were asked to fill a standard questionnaire regarding their personal health information and vaccination status. Their blood samples were tested by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent assay for Hepatitis B surface antigen.

Results: 9 (1.94%) Healthcare Workers were found to be positive for Hepatitis B surface antigen. A statistically significant correlation was found between the years of clinical exposure and the seroprevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (p<0.05).

Conclusion: For an educational institute and hospital, the prevalence rate is considerably high and it reflects upon the proportionate increase in exposure to virus with clinical exposure. It also points towards the low level of awareness regarding occupational risk of Hepatitis B among Healthcare Workers. This calls upon an urgent and mandatory need to incorporate Hepatitis B Virus vaccination amongst Healthcare Workers at a sizeable scale.


Keywords


Dental health care workers, Hepatitis B surface antigen, Hepatitis B, Seroprevalence

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