Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) may occur among hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected individuals. HCV is one of the most common blood-borne pathogens transmitted from patients to health-care workers (HCWs). The development of NHL among HCV-infected HCWs has recently been shown. To investigate this issue further a tailored health surveillance program was applied to 3,138 HCWs from four Medical Institutions. To this aim, all employees were screened for both anti-HCV antibodies and HCV-related extrahepatic manifestations. The HCV prevalence rate, similar among all the HCW subgroups, was 7.3%. The occurrence of a gastric mucosa-associated lymphoma tissue (MALT) lymphoma, diagnosed in a physician following a long history of HCV chronic infection, was observed. Molecular characterization of MALT tissue indicated that immunoglobuline gene combinations were those usually found among HCV-associated lymphomas. Furthermore, B-cell expansion exhibited t(14;18) translocation, as a genetic abnormality associated with the development of MALT lymphomas from HCV-positive patients. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that HCV viral infection potentially affects the pathway of transformation and progression of lymphoma cells. The occurrence of B-cell NHL, among HCV-positive HCWs, is an additional reason to apply the standard precautions to reduce the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission.
hepatitis C virus; health-care worker; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; surveillance
Occupational exposure to Hepatitis B virus (HBV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a cause of concern to all health care workers (HCWs), especially those, in hospitals. Among the HCWs, nurses, interns, technicians, resident doctors and housekeeping staff have the highest incidence of occupational exposure.
To analyze the cases of needle stick injuries and other exposures to patient's blood or body fluids among health care workers.
Materials and Methods:
A detailed account of the exposure is documented which includes incidence of needle stick injuries (NSI) and implementation of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as per the hospital guidelines. We report a two-year continuing surveillance study where 255 health care workers (HCWs) were included. PEP was given to HCWs sustaining NSI or exposures to blood and body fluids when the source is known sero-positive or even unknown where the risk of transmission is high. Follow-up of these HCW's was done after three and six months of exposure.
Of the 255 HCWs, 59 sustained needle stick injuries and two were exposed to splashes. 31 of the NSI were from known sources and 28 from unknown sources. From known sources, thirteen were seropositive; seven for HIV, three for HCV and three for HBV. Nineteen of them sustained needle stick during needle re-capping, six of them during clean up, six of them while discarding into the container, 17 during administration of injection, eight of them during suturing, two occurred in restless patient, 17 during needle disposal.
So far, no case of sero-conversion as a result of needle stick injuries was reported at our center.
Human immunodeficiency virus; hepatitis B and C virus; Occupational exposure; post-exposure prophylaxis
Studies of the molecular epidemiology and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in health care workers (HCWs) of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region are scarce. Lack of awareness about the transmission of HCV and regular blood screening is contributing a great deal towards the spread of hepatitis C. This study is an attempt to investigate the prevalence of HCV and its possible association with both occupational and non-occupational risk factors among the HCWs of Peshawar.
Blood samples of 824 HCWs, aged between 20-59 years were analysed for anti-HCV antibodies, HCV RNA and HCV genotypes by Immunochromatographic tests and PCR. All relevant information was obtained from the HCWs with the help of a questionnaire. The study revealed that 4.13% of the HCWs were positive for HCV antibodies, while HCV RNA was detected in 2.79% of the individuals. The most predominant HCV genotype was 3a and 2a.
A program for education about occupational risk factors and regular blood screening must be implemented in all healthcare setups of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in order to help reduce the burden of HCV infection.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) may progress to serious consequences and increase dramatically beyond endemic dimensions that transmits to or from health care workers (HCWs) during routine investigation in their work places. Basic aim of this study was to canvass the safety of HCWs and determine the prevalence of HBV and its possible association with occupational and non-occupational risk factors. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage level and main barriers to vaccination were also taken in account.
A total of 824 health care workers were randomly selected from three major hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Blood samples were analyzed in Department of Zoology, Kohat University of Science and Technology Kohat, and relevant information was obtained by means of preset questionnaire. HCWs in the studied hospitals showed 2.18% prevalence of positive HBV. Nurses and technicians were more prone to occupational exposure and to HBV infection. There was significant difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated HCWs as well as between the doctors and all other categories. Barriers to complete vaccination, in spite of good knowledge of subjects in this regard were work pressure (39.8%), negligence (38.8%) un-affordability (20.9%), and unavailability (0.5%).
Special preventive measures (universal precaution and vaccination), which are fundamental way to protect HCW against HBV infection should be adopted.
Health care workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of being infected with blood-borne pathogens.
To evaluate risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne viruses and determine the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among HCWs in Georgia.
The sample included HCWs from seven medical institutions in five cities in Georgia. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic, occupational and personal risk factors for blood-borne viruses. After obtaining informed consent, blood was drawn from the study participants for a seroprevalence study of HBV, HCV and HIV infections.
There were 1386 participating HCWs from a number of departments, including surgery (29%), internal medicine (19%) and intensive care (19%). Nosocomial risk events were reported by the majority of HCWs, including accidental needlestick injury (45%), cuts with contaminated instruments (38%) and blood splashes (46%). The most frequent risk for receiving a cut was related to a false move during a procedure, reassembling devices and handing devices to a colleague. The highest proportion of needlestick injuries among physicians (22%) and nurses (39%) was related to recapping of used needles. No HIV-infected HCW was identified. Prevalence of HCV infection was 5%, anti-HBc was present among 29% with 2% being HBsAg carriers.
Data from this study can be utilized in educational programs and implementation of universal safety precautions for HCWs in Georgia to help achieve similar reductions in blood-borne infection transmission to those achieved in developed countries.
Blood-borne virus; contamination injury; developing country; needlestick
The risk of contracting HBV by health care workers (HCW) is four-times greater than that of general adult population. Studies have demonstrated that vaccine-induced protection persists at least 11 years. High risk groups such as HCWs should be monitored and receive a booster vaccination if their anti-HBsAb levels decrease below 10 mIU/mL. In view of the above this study was undertaken to assess the HBV vaccination of the HCWs and their immunological response. Seventy-two HCWs of the Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India, were recruited and blood sample was drawn for serological tests (HBSAg, anti-HCV, anti-HBsAb, anti-HBeAb, and anti-HBcAb). Anti-HBs titers of >10 mIU/mL were considered protective. Thirty-four (47.3%) of the participants were completely vaccinated with three doses. 25 (73.5%) of the participants with complete vaccination had protective anti-HBsAb levels as against 8 (53.3%) of those with incomplete vaccination and 9 (39.1%) of those who were not vaccinated at all. One of our participants was acutely infected while 29 participants were susceptible to infection at the time of the study. All HCWs should receive three doses of the vaccine and be monitored for their immune status after every five years. Boosters should be administered to those who become susceptible.
A Dominican Republic (DR) based multi-community trial of smoking cessation viewed health care workers (HCWs) as potential interventionists. Effectively engaging them, requires a clear understanding of their attitudes and practices regarding smoking.
A Rapid Assessment Procedure, conducted among HCWs in six economically disadvantaged communities, included physicians, nurses, other health professionals, paraprofessionals and lay workers. Attitudes and practices about smoking were consistent across the 82 HCWs and mostly reflected community views. HCWs lacked proactiveness related to smoking cessation and had a limited view of their role, attributing clients’ quitting successes to personal will. Prior cessation training was limited although interest was generally high. Material resources about smoking cessation were virtually absent.
DR HCWs’ views represented features both distinct from and common to HCWs elsewhere. Any intervention with HCWs must first raise awareness before addressing their role in smoking cessation, discussing implementation barriers and include training and materials about risks and effective interventions.
Tobacco cessation; qualitative methods; Dominican Republic
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at an increased risk of exposure to and transmission of infectious diseases. Vaccination lowers morbidity and mortality of HCWs and their patients. To assess vaccination coverage for influenza and hepatitis B virus (HBV) among HCWs in Croatian hospitals, we conducted yearly nationwide surveys.
From 2006 to 2011, all 66 Croatian public hospitals, representing 43–60% of all the HCWs in Croatia, were included. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kruskal–Wallis analysis of variance, Dunn’s multiple comparison analysis and the chi-square test, as appropriate.
The median seasonal influenza vaccination coverage rates in pre-pandemic (2006–2008) seasons were 36%, 25% and 29%, respectively. By occupation, influenza vaccination rates among physicians were 33 ± 21%, 33 ± 22% among graduate nurses, 30±34% among other HCWs, 26 ± 21% among housekeeping and the lowest, 23 ± 17%, among practical nurses (p < 0.01). In 2009–2010 season, seasonal influenza vaccination coverage was 30%, while overall vaccination coverage against pandemic influenza was fewer than 5%. Median vaccination coverage in the post-pandemic seasons of 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 decreased to 15% and 14%, respectively (reduction of 24% and 35%, respectively, p < 0.0001). Meanwhile, the median mandatory HBV vaccination coverage was 98%, albeit with considerable differences according to work setting (range 19–100%) and occupation (range 4–100%).
We found substantial year-on-year variations in seasonal influenza vaccination rates, with reduction in post pandemic influenza seasons. HBV vaccination is satisfactory compared to seasonal influenza vaccination coverage, although substantial variations by occupation and work setting were observed. These findings highlight the need for national strategies that optimize vaccination coverage among HCWs in Croatian hospitals. Further studies are needed to establish the potential role of mandatory vaccination for seasonal influenza.
Influenza; Hepatitis B; Healthcare workers; Vaccination
Occupational latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among health care workers (HCWs) is an important public health issue. The objective of this study is to assess prevalence and risk factors of LTBI among Japanese HCWs by Quantiferon-TB Gold in Tube (QFT-GIT) and the structured questionnaire. This is a cross-sectional study involving HCWs from a hospital without tuberculosis-specific wards, receiving QFT-GIT for LTBI screening. We reviewed medical records of HCWs and questioned HCWs about exposure to M. tuberculosis and employment length in health care industries. 165 HCWs, approximately 80% of the total hospital staff, were enrolled in this study.18 out of 165 subjects had positive results, suggesting LTBI prevalence rate of 11%. Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant association between the positive or intermediate QFT-GIT results and history of contact investigation for tuberculosis. QFT-GIT positivity rate among HCWs is higher than among general population in Japan.
Latent tuberculosis infection; Quantiferon-TB gold in tube; Latent tuberculosis infection baseline screening; Health care workers
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific cell-mediated immunity (CMI) has been reported among exposed individuals without viremia or seroconversion. Limited data are available regarding CMI among at-risk, seronegative, aviremic Egyptian health care workers (HCW), where HCV genotype 4 predominates. We investigated CMI responses among HCW at the National Liver Institute, where over 85% of the patients are HCV infected. We quantified HCV-specific CMI in 52 seronegative aviremic Egyptian HCW using a gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot assay in response to 7 HCV genotype 4a overlapping 15-mer peptide pools covering most of the viral genome. A positive HCV-specific IFN-γ response was detected in 29 of 52 HCW (55.8%), where 21 (40.4%) had a positive response for two to seven HCV pools and 8 (15.4%) responded to only one pool. The average numbers of IFN-γ total spot-forming cells (SFC) per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) (± standard error of the mean [SEM]) in the 29 responding and 23 nonresponding HCW were 842 ± 141 and 64 ± 15, respectively (P < 0.001). Flow cytometry indicated that both CD4+ and CD4− T cells produced IFN-γ. In summary, more than half of Egyptian HCW demonstrated strong HCV multispecific CMI without viremia or seroconversion, suggesting possible clearance of low HCV exposure(s). These data suggest that detecting anti-HCV and viremia to determine past exposure to HCV can lead to an underestimation of the true disease exposure and that CMI response may contribute to the low degree of chronic HCV infection in these HCW. These findings could have strong implications for planning vaccine studies among populations with a high HCV exposure rate. Further studies are needed to determine whether these responses are protective.
Accidental exposure to blood and body secretions is frequent among health care workers (HCWs). They are at risk of acquiring blood-borne diseases. In this study, we have investigated the prevalence and risk factors of occupational exposure among the HCWs of the Emergency Departments (ED) at three teaching hospitals in Tehran.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted this observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study using a self-reporting 25-question survey, related to occupational exposures, in February 2010. It was carried out among 200 HCWs (specialist physicians, residents, medical interns, nurses, laboratory personnel, housekeepers, cleaners, and others), who were working in the EDs of the three teaching hospitals of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The age, sex, and job category of the HCWs suffering from the injury were determined, as also the risk factors responsible for the exposure of the HCWs.
One hundred and fifteen (57.5%) of the 200 HCWs had had at least one episode of blood or body fluid exposure in their professional life. Hollow-bore needles accounted for the highest amount of injuries, with 41.5%, followed by suture needles (18.5%). The most prevalent procedures associated with injuries were suturing (17.5%) and recapping used syringes (16.5%), respectively. All the specialist doctors in this study reported at least one exposure. The percentage of exposure in the other participants of our study was 74.3% for ED residents, 61.1% for laboratory technicians, 51.9% for nurses, and 51% for medical interns. Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that male gender, recapping needles, and job profession were independently associated with exposure to blood or body fluids.
High prevalence of occupational exposure in this study emphasized the importance of promoting awareness, training, and education for the HCWs, for preventive strategies, and also reporting of occupational exposure to blood and body secretions.
Emergency Department; health care workers; Iran; occupational exposure
This survey assessed knowledge, attitudes, and compliance regarding standard precautions about health care-associated infections (HAIs) and the associated determinants among healthcare workers (HCWs) in emergency departments in Italy.
An anonymous questionnaire, self-administered by all HCWs in eight randomly selected non-academic acute general public hospitals, comprised questions on demographic and occupational characteristics; knowledge about the risks of acquiring and/or transmitting HAIs from/to a patient and standard precautions; attitudes toward guidelines and risk perceived of acquiring a HAI; practice of standard precautions; and sources of information.
HCWs who know the risk of acquiring Hepatitis C (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) from a patient were in practice from less years, worked fewer hours per week, knew that a HCW can transmit HCV and HIV to a patient, knew that HCV and HIV infections can be serious, and have received information from educational courses and scientific journals. Those who know that gloves, mask, protective eyewear, and hands hygiene after removing gloves are control measures were nurses, provided care to fewer patients, knew that HCWs' hands are vehicle for transmission of nosocomial pathogens, did not know that a HCW can transmit HCV and HIV to a patient, and have received information from educational courses and scientific journals. Being a nurse, knowing that HCWs' hands are vehicle for transmission of nosocomial pathogens, obtaining information from educational courses and scientific journals, and needing information were associated with a higher perceived risk of acquiring a HAI. HCWs who often or always used gloves and performed hands hygiene measures after removing gloves were nurses, provided care to fewer patients, and knew that hands hygiene after removing gloves was a control measure.
HCWs have high knowledge, positive attitudes, but low compliance concerning standard precautions. Nurses had higher knowledge, perceived risk, and appropriate HAIs' control measures than physicians and HCWs answered correctly and used appropriately control measures if have received information from educational courses and scientific journals.
With 10% of the general population aged 15–59 years chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), Egypt is the country with the highest HCV prevalence worldwide. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are therefore at particularly high risk of HCV infection. Our aim was to study HCV infection risk after occupational blood exposure among HCWs in Cairo.
The study was conducted in 2008–2010 at Ain Shams University Hospital, Cairo. HCWs reporting an occupational blood exposure at screening, having neither anti-HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) nor HCV RNA, and exposed to a HCV RNA positive patient, were enrolled in a 6-month prospective cohort with follow-up visits at weeks 2, 4, 8, 12 and 24. During follow-up, anti-HCV, HCV RNA and ALT were tested. Among 597 HCWs who reported a blood exposure, anti-HCV prevalence at screening was 7.2%, not different from that of the general population of Cairo after age-standardization (11.6% and 10.4% respectively, p = 0.62). The proportion of HCV viremia among index patients was 37%. Of 73 HCWs exposed to HCV RNA from index patients, nine (12.3%; 95%CI, 5.8–22.1%) presented transient viremia, the majority of which occurred within the first two weeks after exposure. None of the workers presented seroconversion or elevation of ALT.
HCWs of a general University hospital in Cairo were exposed to a highly viremic patient population. They experienced frequent occupational blood exposures, particularly in early stages of training. These exposures resulted in transient viremic episodes without established infection. These findings call for further investigation of potential immune protection against HCV persistence in this high risk group.
To assess health-care worker (HCW) awareness, interest and engagement in quality improvement (QI) in HIV care sites in Tanzania.
Cross-sectional survey distributed in May 2009.
Sixteen urban HIV care sites in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1 year after the introduction of a quality management program.
Two hundred seventy-nine HCWs (direct care, clinical support staff and management).
Main Outcome Measures
HCW perceptions of care delivered, rates of engagement, knowledge and interest in QI. HCW-identified barriers to and facilitators of the delivery of quality HIV care.
Two hundred seventy-nine (73%) of 382 HCWs responded to the survey. Most (86%) felt able to meet clients’ needs. HCW-identified facilitators of quality included: teamwork (88%), staff communication (79%), positive work environment (75%) and trainings (84%). Perceived barriers included: problems in patients’ lives (73%) and too few staff or too high patient volumes (52%). Many HCWs knew about specific QI activities (52%) or had been asked for input on QI (63%), but fewer (40.5%) had participated in activities and only 20.1% were currently QI team members. Managers were more likely to report QI involvement than direct care or clinical support staff (P < 0.01). No difference in QI involvement was seen based on patient load or site type.
HCWs can provide important insights into barriers and facilitators of providing quality care and can be effectively engaged in QI activities. HCW participation in efforts to improve services will ensure that HIV/AIDS quality of care is achieved and maintained as countries strive for universal antiretroviral access.
quality improvement; health-care workers; health-care surveys
One of the serious occupational concerns in health care workers (HCWs) is exposure to blood/body fluids that can transmit blood borne pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis B and C viruses. We are reporting the effects of training course and surveillance on the rate of needle stick injuries (NSIs) among HCWs at an educational hospital in Iran.
To evaluate the effects of training course on the rate of NSIs and its reporting.
We selected two hospitals (A&B) based on their similarities in wards and facilities then asked the managers of these two hospitals to participate in our study. We established a new occupational health center and conducted a training course at hospital A on 2010 and compared it with control group (hospital B). The data from 2009 to 2011 was collected, analyzed to compare pre and post intervention rates.
During study period nurses sustained the highest number of injuries (hospital A: n=80; 66.1% and hospital B: n=64; 35.4%). The incidence rate of NSIs in hospital A was 7.16 NSI/100FTE/YEAR before the intervention which was increased to 12.06 after the intervention. In hospital B this rate was 6.05 during three years.
The study revealed remarkable increase in the incidence rate of NSIs after the intervention. This is being achieved by meticulous surveillance, training course and improving awareness
Bloodborne pathogens; health care workers; needle stick injuries
To determine influenza vaccination rates among U.S. health care workers (HCWs) by demographic and occupational categories.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
We analyzed data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Weighted multivariable analyses were used to evaluate the association between HCW occupation and other variables potentially related to receipt of influenza vaccination. HCWs were categorized based on standard occupational classifications as health-diagnosing professions, health-assessing professions, health aides, health technicians; or health administrators.
MAIN INDEPENDENT VARIABLES
Demographic characteristics and occupation category.
MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLES
Receipt of influenza vaccination within 12 months of survey.
Descriptive statistics and weighted multivariable logistic regression.
There were 1,651 HCWs in the final sample. The overall influenza vaccination rate for HCWs was 38%. After weighted multivariable analyses, HCWs who were under 50 (odds ratio [OR] 0.67%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50 to 0.89, compared with HCWs 50 to 64), black (OR 0.57 95% CI: 0.42, 0.78, compared with white HCWs), or were health aides (OR 0.73%, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.04, compared with health care administrators and administrative support staff) had lower odds of having been vaccinated against influenza.
The overall influenza vaccination rate among HCWs in the United States is low. Workers who are under 50, black, or health aides have the lowest rates of vaccinations. Interventions seeking to improve HCW vaccination rates may need to target these specific subgroups.
Influenza vaccinations; health care workers; National Health Interview Survey; nosocomial infection; employee health
Tuberculosis (TB) is considered an occupational disease among health-care workers (HCWs). Direct contact with TB patients leads to an increased risk to become latently infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of latent M. tuberculosis minfection among nursing professionals of a hospital in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, assessed by tuberculin skin test (TST). From November 2009 to May 2010, latent M. tuberculosis infection was assessed by TST in 55 nursing professionals. Epidemiological information was collected using a standardized questionnaire. A positive TST result (> or = 10 mm) was observed in 47.3% of the HCWs tested. There was no significant difference in TST positivity when duration of employment or professional category (technician or nurse) was evaluated. The results of this work reinforce the need for control measures to prevent latent M. tuberculosis infection among nursing professionals at the hospital where the study was conducted.
Tuberculosis; Tuberculin Skin Test; Health-Care Workers
Tuberculosis (TB) is an established occupational disease affecting health care workers (HCWs). Determining the risk of TB among HCWs is important to enable authorites to take preventative measures in health care facilities and protect HCWs. This study was designed to assess the incidence of TB in a teaching hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. This study is retrospective study of health records of HCWs in our hospital from 1991 to 2000.
The mean workforce of the hospital was 3359 + 33.2 between 1991 and 2000. There were 31 cases (15 male) meeting the diagnostic criteria for TB, comprising eight doctors, one nurse and 22 other health professionals. Mean incidence of TB was 96 per 100,000 for all HCWs (relative risk: 2.71), 79 per 100,000 for doctors (relative risk: 2.2), 14 per 100,000 for nurses and 121 per 100,000 (relative risk: 3.4) for other professionals. The mean incidence of TB in Turkey between 1991 and 2000 was 35.4 per 100,000. Incidence of TB was similar in the Departments of Chest Diseases and Clinical Medicine but there were no TB cases in the Basic Science and Managerial Departments.
HCWs in Turkey who work in clinics have an increased risk for TB. Post-graduate education and prevention programs reduce the risk of TB. Control programs to prevent nosocomial transmission of TB should be established in hospitals to reduce risk for HCWs.
Seroconversion rates reported after Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination globally ranges from 85–90%. Health care workers (HCWs) are at high risk of acquiring HBV and non responders' rates after HBV vaccination were not reported previously in Pakistani HCWs. Therefore we evaluated immune response to HBV vaccine in HCWs at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Descriptive observational study conducted at Aga Khan University from April 2003 to July 2004. Newly HBV vaccinated HCWs were evaluated for immune response by measuring serum Hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) levels, 6 weeks post vaccination.
Initially 666 employees were included in the study. 14 participants were excluded due to incomplete records. 271 (41%) participants were females and 381(59%) were males. Majority of the participants were young (<25–39 years old), regardless of gender. Out of 652 HCWs, 90 (14%) remained seronegative after six weeks of post vaccination. The percentage of non responders increased gradually from 9% in participants of <25, 13% in 25–34, 26% in 35–49, and 63% in >50 years of age. Male non responders were more frequent (18%) than female (8%).
Seroconversion rate after HBV vaccination in Pakistani HCWs was similar to that reported in western and neighboring population. HCWs with reduced immune response to HBV vaccine in a high disease prevalent population are at great risk. Therefore, it is crucial to check post vaccination HBsAb in all HCWs. This strategy will ensure safety at work by reducing nosocomial transmission and will have a cost effective impact at an individual as well as at national level, which is very much desired in a resource limited country.
Background and Objectives
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has identified health care workers (HCWs) as a priority group to receive influenza vaccine. Although the importance of HCW to the health care system is well understood, the potential role of HCW in transmission during an epidemic has not been clearly established.
Using a standard SIR (Susceptible–Infected–Recovered) framework similar to previously developed pandemic models, we developed an agent-based model (ABM) of Allegheny County, PA, that incorporates the key health care system features to simulate the spread of an influenza epidemic and its effect on hospital-based HCWs.
Our simulation runs found the secondary attack rate among unprotected HCWs to be approximately 60% higher (54·3%) as that of all adults (34·1%), which would result in substantial absenteeism and additional risk to HCW families. Understanding how a pandemic may affect HCWs, who must be available to treat infected patients as well as patients with other medical conditions, is crucial to policy makers’ and hospital administrators’ preparedness planning.
Computer simulation; infectious disease transmission; human influenza; professional to patient; agent-based model; pandemic
Interferon-gamma release assays including the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT [Cellestis Ltd, Australia]) may be used in place of the tuberculin skin test (TST) in surveillance programs for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection control. However, data on performance and practicality of the QFT-GIT in such programs for health care workers (HCWs) are limited.
To assess the performance, practicality and reversion rate of the QFT-GIT among HCWs at a tertiary health care institution in the United States.
Retrospective chart review of HCWs at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (Arkansas, USA) who underwent QFT-GIT testing as a part of their employee screening between November 1, 2008 and October 31, 2009.
QFT-GIT was used to screen 3290 HCWs. The initial QFT-GIT was interpreted as positive for 129 (3.9%) HCWs, negative for 3155 (95.9%) and indeterminate for six (0.2%). Testing with QFT-GIT was repeated in 45 HCWs who had positive results on the initial test. The QFT-GIT reverted to negative in 18 (40.0%) HCWs, all of whom had negative TST status and initial interferon-gamma values of 0.35 IU/mL to 2.0 IU/mL.
The QFT-GIT test is feasible in large health care setting as an alternative to TST for M tuberculosis infection screening in HCWs but is not free from challenges. The major concerns are the high number of positive test results and high reversion rates on repeat testing, illustrating poor short-term reproducibility of positive QFT-GIT test results. These results suggest adopting a borderline zone between interferon-gamma values of 0.35 IU/mL to 2.0 IU/mL, and cautious clinical interpretation of values in this range.
Health care workers; Interferon-gamma release assays; Tuberculosis; QuantiFERON Gold In-Tube assay
The impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination campaigns on HBV epidemiology needs to be evaluated, in order to assess the long-term immunity offered by vaccines against HBV.
To evaluate the current status of anti-HBV vaccine coverage among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Southern Italy, and to determine the long-term persistence of antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigens (anti-HBs) in such a cohort of subjects.
Patients and Methods
A longitudinal, retrospective seroepidemiological survey was conducted among 451 HCWs, who were working at or visiting, the Occupational Health Department of a city hospital, in Catania, Italy, between January 1976 and December 2010.
At the 30-year follow-up (mean follow-up 10.15 ± 5.96 years, range 0.74-30), 261 HCWs had detectable anti-HBs titers indicating a persistence of seroprotection of 89.4% (out of 292 anti-HBs positive results, three months after vaccination). An inadequate vaccination schedule was the strongest predictor of antibody loss during follow-up (OR = 8.37 95% CI: 5.41-12.95, P < 0.001). A Kaplan-Maier survival curve revealed that the persistence of anti-HBs 30 years after vaccination, was 92.2% for high responders, while it was only 27.3% for low responders (P = 0.001).
A good level of seroprotection persisted in 57.9% of the subjects after 30 years. Factors related to this immunization status confirmed the importance of vaccinating HCWs early in their careers and ensuring an adequate vaccination schedule. However, with particular reference to the low rate of hepatitis B vaccine coverage among HCWs in Southern Italy, the implementation of a new educational intervention as part of an active vaccination program is needed.
Hepatitis B Virus; Vaccines; Health Personnel; Vaccination
Exposure to blood-borne pathogens poses a serious risk to health care workers (HCWs). We review the risk and management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in HCWs and also discuss current methods for preventing exposures and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. In the health care setting, blood-borne pathogen transmission occurs predominantly by percutaneous or mucosal exposure of workers to the blood or body fluids of infected patients. Prospective studies of HCWs have estimated that the average risk for HIV transmission after a percutaneous exposure is approximately 0.3%, the risk of HBV transmission is 6 to 30%, and the risk of HCV transmission is approximately 1.8%. To minimize the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission from HCWs to patients, all HCWs should adhere to standard precautions, including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments. Employers should have in place a system that includes written protocols for prompt reporting, evaluation, counseling, treatment, and follow-up of occupational exposures that may place a worker at risk of blood-borne pathogen infection. A sustained commitment to the occupational health of all HCWs will ensure maximum protection for HCWs and patients and the availability of optimal medical care for all who need it.
There are few studies that have assessed factors influencing infection control practices among health care workers (HCW) in nursing homes. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of HCWs (N = 392) in 4 nursing homes to assess whether knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions influence reported hand hygiene habits. Positive perceptions and beliefs regarding effectiveness of infection control in nursing homes were associated with reported appropriate glove use and fingernail characteristics, respectively, among HCWs. Further research on hand hygiene interventions, including targeted educational in-services should be conducted in the nursing home setting.
Nursing home residents bear a substantial burden of influenza morbidity and mortality. Vaccination of residents and healthcare workers (HCWs) is the main strategy for prevention. Despite recommendations, influenza vaccination coverage among HCWs remains generally low.
During the 2007-2008 influenza season, we conducted a nationwide survey to estimate influenza vaccination coverage of HCWs and residents in nursing homes for elderly people in France and to identify determinants of vaccination rates. Multivariate analysis were performed with a negative binomial regression.
Influenza vaccination coverage rates were 33.6% (95% CI: 31.9-35.4) for HCWs and 91% (95% CI: 90-92) for residents. Influenza vaccination uptake of HCWs varied by occupational category. Higher vaccination coverage was found in private elderly care residences, when free vaccination was offered (RR: 1.89, 1.35-2.64), in small nursing homes (RR: 1.54, 1.31-1.81) and when training sessions and staff meetings on influenza were organized (RR: 1.20, 1.11-1.29). The analysis by occupational category showed that some determinants were shared by all categories of professionals (type of nursing homes, organization of training and staff meetings on influenza). Higher influenza vaccination coverage was found when free vaccination was offered to recreational, cleaning, administrative staff, nurses and nurse assistants, but not for physicians.
This nationwide study assessed for the first time the rate of influenza vaccination among residents and HCWs in nursing homes for elderly in France. Better communication on the current recommendations regarding influenza vaccination is needed to increase compliance of HCWs. Vaccination programmes should include free vaccination and education campaigns targeting in priority nurses and nurse assistants.