Occupational risk of hepatitis C infections among general
dentists and oral surgeons in North America.
Author: Thomas DL; Gruninger SE; Siew C; Joy ED; Quinn
Source: Am J Med Date of Pub: 1996 Jan
Issue: 1 Volume: 100 Pagination: 41-5
To assess the occupational risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV)
infection among dental personnel.
Three hundred forty-three oral surgeons and 305 general dentists
were recruited at national meetings of the American Dental
Association and matched by gender, age, years of practice, and
location of practice. Each participant completed a detailed
questionnaire designated to measure occupational risk of
blood-borne infections and supplied a sample of blood. Antibodies
to HCV (anti-HCV) were assessed by second-generation enzyme
immunoassay and recombinant immunoblot assay. As a marker of
occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses, hepatitis B virus
(HBV) surface antigen and antibodies to HBV surface and core
antigens were measured by enzyme immunoassay.
Anti-HCV was found in 2.0% of oral surgeons and 0.7% of general
dentists (odds ratio [OR] = 3.2, P = 0.133). Anti-HCV was more
prevalent (P < 0.01) in dental personnel who were older, had
more years of practice, and had serologic markers of HBV infection.
Serologic markers of HBV infection were found in 7.8% of general
dentists and 21.2% of oral surgeons (OR 3.1, P < 0.001).
These data confirm high rates of HBV infection among dental
personnel, but suggest that the risk of HCV infection is
Abstract By: Author
Address: Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
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