579 Seroepidemiological survey of hepatitis C in cleaning personel at a terciary hospital in São Paulo

Saturday, March 20, 2010
Grand Hall (Hyatt Regency Atlanta)
Francisco Eduardo Mantovani, MD , Hospital Heliopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Marcelo Contardo Moscoso Naveira, MD , Hospital Heliopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Juvencio Jose Furtado, MD , Hospital Heliopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Elisa Maria Beirao, MD , Hospital Heliopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a parenterally transmitted virus that poses an occupational hazard to cleaning workers at hospitals since they have high occupational exposure to blood. No significant data are available regarding the prevalence of hepatitis C in this population, that in develloping countries are characterized by having a low educational level and poor adherence to personal protection equipment (PPE) use.
Objective: To evaluate the sero prevalence of HCV in cleaning personnel at a tertiary hospital
Methods: A prospective study was designed to determine the prevalence of HVC among cleaning personnel  in Hospital Heliopolis, Brazil. Occupational and non-occupational information was obtained through a confidential questionnaire. Blood samples were collected from all the subjects and sera were tested for anti-HCV antibodies. The statistical software package SPSS v13.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for all of the data analyses.
Results: We studied 105 individuals, 89% were female, median age was 38,6 years-old. Cleaning attendant was the labor activity in most of the cases (90%)  and 47% were working in the same activity for more than 6 years.PPE used for handling blood contaminated material were gloves (98%), mask (73%), and glasses (58%). Needlestick injuries were reported by 18% of the subjects. We didn`t find any positive serologic tests among the population studied. Risk behavior for blood borne diseases was investigated but not shown because of the negative serology results.

Conclusions: A low educational level and poor adherence to personal protection equipment (PPE) use is observed in cleaning workers in hospitals at the developing countries. Although a high exposure to blood contaminated material, with no adequate PPE, from prolonged periods, sero prevalence in this group resulted negative in all individuals tested.