Health care professionals working in laboratories located in Africa are supposed to deal with many potentially infectious fluids in a context of high prevalence for infectious diseases and particularly hepatitis B virus (HBV). The goal of this study was to evaluate the seroprotection against HBV and possible contact with the virus before vaccination in the staff of a laboratory specialized in the diagnosis of infectious diseases.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to March 2019 at the University Hospital of Treichville in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It consisted in a quantitative determination of antibodies against HBV surface antigen (anti-HBs) and also in a qualitative detection of HBV surface antigen (HbsAg) and total antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HbcT) by immunoenzymatically assays.
Fifty out of 59 professionals were included in the study. Anti-HBs antibodies were detected at a protective level (> 10 IU/L) in 46 (92.0%) vaccinated subjects. However, two people (4.0%) were non-responders to vaccination against HBV. Qualitative determination of anti-HBcT antibodies showed that more 26 people included in the study (55.3%) had previously been in contact with HBV two of whom still carrying the virus. Finally, this study made it possible to highlight the relevance of vaccination against HBV among health professionals. However, the high percentage of people displaying pre-vaccination contact with the virus without any subsequent carriage of HBsAg shows up the fact that the usefulness of systematic screening (HBsAg and anti-HBcAb) before immunization is limited in a context of high endemicity for HBV.