Seroepidemiology of hepatitis C antibodies among dentists and their self-reported use of infection control measures

M. Ashkenazi*, N. Fisher, L. Levin, M. M. Littner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies among dentists graduated from various countries and assess the use of infection control measures in their dental practice. Research design. The study included 301 Israeli dentists who attended an annual dental conference. Participants filled out a structured questionnaire regarding demographic (age, gender, number of siblings, number of children) and occupational characteristics. Venous blood was examined for presence of HCV antibodies by enzyme immunoassay and confirmed by a third generation line immunoassay, which assesses antibodies to HCV-core antigens (INN-LIATM HCV Ab III update, 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity). Results. The prevalence of HCV antibodies among Israeli dentists was 1/301 (0.33%), similar to the prevalence range (0.1-0.5%) among the general Israeli population. The studied population included dentists (30.6%) who immigrated from Asia, Eastern Europe and the former USSR, where HCV prevalence ranges from 3.1% to 26.5%. Dentists routinely used gloves (99.6%), gown (93.3%), autoclaves (90.3%), dry heat (29.1%) and mask (81%). Dentists who graduated after 1985 used a mask or gown significantly more often than dentists who graduated before 1985 (p<0.001 and p=0.004, respectively). Conclusion. It seems that dentists who usually adhere to basic infection control measures are not at an increased risk for HCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Dentist
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Infection control


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