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Epidemiology of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) and Antibody to HBsAg in Hospital Personnel

Jörg Janzen, Ioannis Tripatzis, Ursula Wagner, Marianne Schlieter, Ellen Müller-Dethard and Enno Wolters
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 137, No. 3 (Mar., 1978), pp. 261-265
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30108929
Page Count: 5
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Epidemiology of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) and Antibody to HBsAg in Hospital Personnel
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Abstract

The epidemiology of hepatitis B in hospital personnel was studied by testing of sera from 3,770 employees of the Medical School of Hannover (Hannover, West Germany) for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and its corresponding antibody (anti-HBs) by solid-phase radioimmunoassay. An average prevalence of 2.2% for HBsAg and 11.7% for anti-HBs was found. Physicians (18.2%), nurses (20.1%), and members of the cleaning service (26.3%) showed the highest frequencies of HBsAg or anti-HBs carriage. In a study of age- and sex-matched personnel, nurses showed a significantly (P < 0.01) higher rate of infection than a control group with less exposure to infectious materials. The frequency of HBsAg or anti-HBs was highest in persons associated with dialysis (31.3%), anesthesiology (31.0%), ophthalmology (29.4%), neurosurgery (28.0%), and surgery (24.4%). The rate of infection was significantly higher in surgical departments (24.4%) than in nonsurgical ones (13.3%). Persons who had been nursing patients with hepatitis were significantly (P < 0.05) more frequently carriers of HBsAg or anti-HBs than a comparable control group.

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