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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Feb;13(2):435-439. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2017.1264791. Epub 2016 Dec 27.

Serological survey of hepatitis B immunity in healthcare workers in Catalonia (Spain).

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a Departament de Salut Pública , Universitat de Barcelona , Barcelona , Spain.
b CIBER Epidemiología y Salud pública (CIBERESP) , Madrid , Spain.
c Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya, Generalitat de Catalunya , Barcelona , Spain.
d Adult Vaccination Centre, Hospital Clínic , Barcelona , Spain.
e Departament de Medicina Preventiva i Epidemiologia. Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebrón , Barcelona , Spain.
f Departament de Microbiología , Hospital Clínic , Barcelona , Spain.
g Departament de Medicina Preventiva I Epidemiología , Hospital Germans Trías i Pujol , Badalona , Spain.


Healthcare workers (HCW) are exposed to preventable infectious diseases, notably hepatitis B (HB). The aim of this study was to determine the immunity of HCW against hepatitis B. We made a seroprevalence study using a self-administered survey and obtained blood samples. Antibodies against the HB surface antigen (anti-HBs) and against the HB core antigen (anti-HBc) were studied. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. The adjusted OR were calculated using logistic regression. Of the 644 HCW who participated (29.7% physicians, 38.7% nurses, 13.4% other clinical workers and 18.3% non-clinical workers), 46.4% were primary care workers and 53.6% hospital workers. The overall prevalence of anti-HBs was 64.4%. HCW aged <25 y had a significantly higher prevalence (86.7%) than those aged 35-44 y (adjusted OR 3.40; 95% CI 1.06-10.90). The prevalence of anti-HBc was 4.1%, and increased with age. Significant differences were found for HCW aged >44 y with respect to those aged 25-34 y. 75.6% of HCW stated they were vaccinated, but only 39.3% had a vaccination card. In HCW who stated they were unvaccinated, 10.8% had a vaccinated serological pattern (anti-HBc-negative and anti-HBs -positive). Written, updated vaccination records are essential to reliably determine the vaccination status.


healthcare workers; hepatitis B; nosocomial transmission; seroprevalence; vaccination

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