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J Occup Environ Med. 2000 Nov;42(11):1109-14.

Prevalence of cytomegalovirus infection among health care workers in pediatric and immunosuppressed adult units.

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  • 1Centre de Recherches en Sante-Travail-Ergonomie, Lille, France.

Abstract

The prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection varies not only from one country to another, but also with social, economic, and environmental conditions and with professional activity. Health care workers in contact with the main vectors of the CMV (i.e., children and immunosuppressed patients) are particularly exposed to the infection. We assessed the prevalence of the virus among health care personnel in light of CMV epidemiology and the recent shift in living conditions and family size. Our study was included in a broader program evaluating the risk of infection among female hospital workers of childbearing age. The goal of the program was to implement appropriate preventive measures for personnel who were not immune to the infection. Consequently, we included only female caregivers who worked with children or immunosuppressed patients. The study was based on a clinical examination, a medical and occupational questionnaire, the assessment of tasks performed; and CMV serologic testing. The overall seroprevalence was 44.25% in our population (n = 400) and was comparable regardless of the place of work. Prevalence differed significantly with age and parity, and we also found that it was higher among personnel who worked in closer contact with the patients (nurse's aides, pediatric nurse's aides) than among those whose tasks required more technical skills (nurses, pediatric nurses) (57.3% vs 34.5%, P < 0.01). The logistic regression analysis between prevalence of CMV antibodies, age, parity, and type of job showed that "contact job" was as significant a factor as parity to explain immunization in our population (odds ratio, 2.2). We also determined a correlation between the prevalence of CMV antibodies and tasks performed. In addition, we found a non-negligible group of non-immune personnel (55.75%) and young workers (mean age: 33.4) who were potentially exposed to infection. This points to the need to establish a prevention program.

PMID:
11094790
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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