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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dental care and spread of hepatitis B virus infection.

Sera from 576 healthy adults were tested for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody (anti-HBs) to evaluate the role of routine dental care as a factor in the spread of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Serological evidence of prior HBV infection, manifested by acquisition of anti-HBs, was detected in 97 (16.8%) individuals, and 6 (1.0%) were identified to be asymptomatic HBsAg carriers. The anticipated correlations of HBsAg and anti-HBs with age, country of birth, and socioeconomic status were observed in the study population. However, prevalences of both HBsAg and anti-HBs were inversely related to the lifetime total of dental care visits. These findings indicated that, in a region in which the HBsAg carrier state and hepatitis B are prevalent, routine dental care is not identified as an important factor in the spread of HBV infection. While the results do not exclude the obvious possibility that cross-infections with HBV may occur during dental care in specific situations, they indicate that this mode of infection is exceptional.[1]


  1. Dental care and spread of hepatitis B virus infection. Tzukert, A., Sandler, S.G. J. Clin. Microbiol. (1978) [Pubmed]
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