To estimate the prevalence of immunity against Hepatitis B virus among all healthcare workers linked to the Departments of Public Health in Torrevieja and Elx-Crevillent,two municipalities in the Valencian Community, Spain.
Cross-sectional descriptive study of healthcare workers in two different public health departments. Once the sample was obtained, the anti-hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBsAb) levels were abstracted based on serological test results recorded in the workers’ medical records. Titers of anti-HBsAB ≥10mlU / ml were considered as evience of immunity. The variables analyzed were classified by department, gender, age (18-34; 35-49;≥50 years); professional category (physicians / nursing / other health personnel / nonhealth personnel); service at risk of contagion (Yes / No); immunity (≥10mlU/ml, 〈10mlU/ml,missing) and systematic anti-HBs vaccination by date of birth (Yes / No).
The study population consisted of 2674 workers. The highest proportions of workers were female(68.8%), between 35 and 49 years of age (52.8%), and employed in nursing,(32.2%). Overall, 74.9% of employees had evidence of hepatitis B immunity, 11.3% had no inmunity, and 13.8% was missing information on serology. Among those employees with serological information (n=2306), lack of immunity was highest among males (17.8%).Protective titers were inversely proportional to age, with the lowest titers being found in the oldest age groups. Non-healthcare personnel and physicians also had lower levels of protection (36.9% and 11.1%, respectively).
Despite identifying high levels of immunity among healthcare workers, the percentages of non-immunized employees and those lacking immunological information underscores the need to implement new communication strategies aimed at these at-risk groups.
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