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Occup Environ Med. 1998 Aug;55(8):567-9.

Risk of hepatitis A infection in sewage workers.

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  • 1Immunisation Division, Public Health Laboratory Service, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the risk of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection among sewage workers from occupational exposure to raw sewage.

METHODS:

An analytical cross sectional study of 241 company employees with possible occupational exposure to sewage in a large water and sewerage company was carried out. Previous exposure to hepatitis A virus infection was assessed, as were its associations with possible risk factors.

RESULTS:

Frequent occupational exposure to raw sewage was a significant risk factor for HAV infection, independently of other known risk factors (odds ratio 3.73, 95% confidence interval 1.48 to 9.37). Of 50 employees who reported occupational exposure to raw sewage most of the time, 30 (60%) had had HAV infection.

CONCLUSION:

Employees who are likely to be at risk of frequent exposure should have their immunity ensured. The salivary assay for IgG anti-HAV used in the study was highly specific and would be suitable for prevaccination testing of older employees, who are more likely to be immune.

PMID:
9849545
PMCID:
PMC1757623
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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