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International Research Journal of Microbiology

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Prevalence of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Viruses among Nurses and nursing students in a Medical College Hospital in Southern Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract

Anand Kalaskar* and Mahesh Kumar

Healthcare workers especially nurses have an elevated risk of acquiring and transmitting parenteral Infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) markers with the final goal to encourage HBV vaccination of the non-immune Indian Nurse. A total of 442 samples were screened from July 2010 to June 2011. They were screened for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag), antibodies to Hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and Hepatitis B Surface antigen (anti-HBs) and anti-HCV antibodies by the third generation ELISA. The HBsAg, anti-HBc antibodies and anti-HBs antibodies prevalence were 1.13 %, 14% and 28% respectively. Anti-HCV antibody was not detected in any of the Nurses screened .The presence of anti-HBc increased with age from 5% in those 18-24 years old to 12% in those more than 50 years old. Of the 124 anti-HBS positive cases 96(77%) were anti-HBc negative and this was significantly associated with a past history of HBV Vaccinations. None were positive for anti-HCV antibodies. A moderate HBV infection rate and low HBV vaccination coverage were found in the study. India is a tropical country still endemic for HBV infection and new strategies to promote HBV vaccinations are to be adopted.

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