Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Infect Control. 2008 Dec;36(10):e27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2008.05.012.

Risk of infection in health care workers following occupational exposure to a noninfectious or unknown source.

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Dokuz Eylul, Izmir, Turkey.



The major concern after occupational exposures is the possible transmission of blood-borne pathogens, especially hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This study was undertaken to evaluate the risk of infection after exposure to blood or body fluids of an unknown or an HBV-, HCV-, and HIV-negative source and to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of these incidents in health care workers.


The survey was conducted over a 6-year period at a university hospital in Turkey, using a questionnaire to elicit demographic and epidemiologic information. Serologic tests for HBV, HCV, and HIV were performed and repeated after 3 months.


Of the 449 incidents, complete follow-up was achieved in 320 (71.3%), and no seroconversion was observed for HBV, HCV and HIV. Most of the incidents occurred in medical (34.7%) and surgical (25.4%) work areas. The most frequent type of exposure was percutaneous injury (94%), most commonly caused by handling of garbage bags (58.4%), needle recapping (16.5%), and invasive interventions (13.4%).


Infection risk seems to be extremely low for HCV and HIV, because of low endemicity, and for HBV in groups immunized against HBV.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk