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Hepatitis B virus prevalence and vaccination response in health care workers and students at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil

Patrícia Carvalho, Maria Isabel Schinoni, Jacy Andrade, Marco Antônio Vasconcelos Rêgo, Patrícia Marques, Roberto Meyer, Alex Araújo, Thomaz Menezes, Carolina Oliveira, Rodrigo Sousa Macêdo, Lucas Sousa Macêdo, Júlio César Leal, Betânia Matos, _ Schaer

Abstract

Background and rationale for the study. Hepatitis B (HB) is one of the most prevalent occupational infections in health attendance environments. According to the Brazil Ministry of Health, health professionals must be vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and provide laboratory proof of immunization. Aims. To evaluate the seroprevalence of HBV infection and to analyze the response to vaccine by measuring serum antibodies against HBV surface antigen (anti-HBs) levels in a sample of students and health professionals at the Federal University of Bahia. Results. As part of this cross-sectional study, a campaign against occupational HB was launched in 2007 and vaccination and blood samples were collected for analysis of the following serological markers: HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HBs (measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay) and total antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HBc). The study sample comprised 766 people. Global seropositivity for HBV was 1.7%: 0.5% in the students and 8.8% in the professionals. In a group of volunteers, a serological profile compatible with postvaccine immunity was shown by 95% of volunteers with proof of vaccination and by 81.8% of volunteers without proof of vaccination. Conclusions. In conclusion, this study shows that it is important to promote vaccination campaigns and improve knowledge and awareness about HB among health care workers and higher education students.

Key words. Hepatitis B vaccination program, Healthcare students and professionals, Occupational hepatitis

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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