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Infection. 2003 Dec;31 Suppl 2:22-7.

Risk of hepatitis C virus transmission following percutaneous exposure in healthcare workers.

Author information

  • 1Dept. of Epidemiology, National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Lazzaro Spallanzani-IRCCS, Via Portuense 292, I-00149 Rome, Italy. siroh@inmi.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We wanted to determine the incidence of anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) seroconversion after percutaneous exposure to infectious fluids of an anti-HCV positive source in healthcare workers (HCW) and to investigate related risk factors.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Prospective observation in 55 Italian hospitals of anti-HCV-negative exposed HCW were followed clinically and serologically for at least 6 months.

RESULTS:

Of 4,403 exposed HCW, 14 seroconverted (0.31%; 95% CI 0.15-0.48) after an injury with a hollow-bore, blood-filled needle (14/1,876=0.74%; 95% CI 0.41-1.25). Deep injuries increased the seroconversion risk (OR 6.53; 95% CI 2.01-20.80). Exposure to an HIV co-infected source was associated with an higher, though not yet statistically significant, risk (OR 2.76, 95% CI 0.49-10.77). Source's HCV viremia was available in 674 cases, 566 of whom tested positive, including the nine seroconversion cases for whom this information was available.

CONCLUSION:

The risk of acquiring HCV after percutaneous exposure seems to be lower than previously reported. Deep injury, injury with a blood-filled needle and HIV co-infection of source seem to be associated with occupational transmission. Needlestick prevention devices could decrease the risk of infection with HCV and other bloodborne pathogens in HCW.

PMID:
15018469
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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