Hepatitis B Infection: Prevalence and Response to Vaccination among Health Care Workers in Babol, Northern Iran
Background & Objectives: Hepatitis B is one of the major health problems in the world. Health care workers (HCWs) are at high risk of acquiring hepatitis B virus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of HBV infection and the immune response to HBV vaccine among the HCWs in Babol, northern Iran. Methods: This study was accomplished on 527 HCWs and administrative staff working at Rohani Hospital, Babol, northern Iran from 2011 to 2012. HBs- Ag, HBc- Ab and HBs- Ab were measured by ELISA method. All susceptible staff vaccinated with recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (Pasteur Institute of Iran) and HBs - Ab titer was evaluated 3 months after the last dose. Results: Anti-HBc was positive in 32 (6.1%) and HBs-Ag in 4 (0.75%) of the participants. The HBV exposure in HCWs was four times greater than the administrative staff (6.65% vs. 1.63%). There was significant association between HBV exposure and occupation and also educational level (P < 0.001), however, this association was not found with age and gender. Seroconversion was seen in 211 (91.7%) of 230 participants who received three-dose series of hepatitis B vaccine. The seroconversion is significantly decreasing by the increase of age (P < 0.001), however, no significant association was seen with age and gender. Conclusion: Considering high HBV infection exposure in HCWs, it is mandatory to ensure vaccination program and postvaccination evaluation along with education and safe work environment preparation.