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Asia Journal of Public Health : Volume 7 No. 1, June 2016. 12-20
doi: Vol.7 No.1

Seroprevalence and Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Public Medical First Responders in a Public Health Region in Thailand

Pipat Luksamijarulkul* Manlika Noppakunwong** Dusit Sujirarat*** Narumon Auemaneekul ****



ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate HBV seromarker prevalence and associated factors among public medical first responders (MFRs) in the fifth public health region of Thailand. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 344 public MFRs with age ≥18 years. Those who had no previous HBV vaccination voluntarily participated in blood testing for HBV seromarkers (n = 269). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, χ2-test or Fishers´ exact test and Odds ratio (OR) with significant level at α = 0.05. Results: The majority of MFRs were male (83.1%), aged 21-40 years (61.0%), and 68.6% used to receive new employee´s pretraining. Approximately 6.7% had a history of jaundice, 62.2% had a history of tattooing or body piercing, 7.8% had a history of injecting drug use and 28% had a history of extramarital sex without using condom. During the last 3 months, 65.4% had blood exposure, 9.3% had a history of contacting jaundiced patients and 39.5% had a history of needle stick or sharp injury. The mean score of universal precaution practices was 4.1±2.1 (total score = 7) classified as low level. For blood testing, 75.5% were positive for one or more HBV seromarkers, 6.3% were HBsAg ± anti-HBc (without IgM anti-HBc), 61.3% were anti-HBs positive and 7.8% were anti-HBc positive only. Associated factor analysis revealed that significant factors for HBsAg positiveness were a history of jaundice (OR = 7.5, 95% CI = 1.8-32.2) and a history of contacting patients´ blood or jaundiced patients while working (OR = 4.8, 95% CI = 1.1-21.7). Overall HBV seromarker positiveness comprised a history of tattooing (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.4-4.4) and a history of contacting patients´ blood or jaundiced patients while working (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.2-3.8). Conclusion: This study revealed a total of 6.3% HBsAg positiveness. Significant risk factors for HBsAg included a history of jaundice and contacting with patients´ blood or jaundiced patients while working (OR = 4.8, 95% CI = 1.1-21.7). Overall HBV seromarker positiveness comprised a history of tattooing (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.4-4.4) and a history of contacting patients´ blood or jaundiced patients while working (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.2-3.8). Conclusion: This study revealed a total of 6.3% HBsAg positiveness. Significant risk factors for HBsAg included a history of jaundice and contacting with patients
 
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*Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand

**Division of Infection Control, Bangkok Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

***Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand

****Department of Public Health Nursing, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand

*

Corresponding author, E-mail: pipat.luk@mahidol.ac.th
Accepted 15 June 2016