Detection of Hepatitis B Virus in Used Razor Blades by PCR

AUTHORS

Cafer Eroglu 1 , * , Muammer Zivalioglu 2 , Saban Esen 2 , Mustafa Sunbul 2 , Hakan Leblebicioglu 2

1 Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, ceroglu@omu.edu.tr, Turkey

2 Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, Turkey

How to Cite: Eroglu C, Zivalioglu M, Esen S, Sunbul M, Leblebicioglu H. Detection of Hepatitis B Virus in Used Razor Blades by PCR, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 10(1):22-25.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Hepatitis Monthly: 10 (1); 22-25
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 18, 2009
Accepted: December 24, 2009

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Abstract

Background and Aims: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection ranks among the most devastating health problems in the world. The most probable transmission routes of HBV are blood contact, sexual, and horizontal transfer. Other sources of HBV transmission are razor sharing, beauty treatments, tattooing, piercing, and manicures and other chiropody treatments. Many infections have been reported in South-East Asia, where barbers commonly share and reuse razors. Detection of HBV DNA in contaminated devices such as razor blades is important in the demonstration of transmission routes and indirect estimation of HBV prevalence in specific subpopulations such as barbershop clientele. Therefore, we aimed to detect the presence of HBV contamination on razor blades by nucleic acid testing.

Methods: Used razor blades (n = 151) were purchased from different barber's shops. Used razor blades purchased from chronic HBV patients (n = 8) were included as a positive control. The amplification and detection of HBV DNA was carried out by a semi-nested PCR method in a thermal cycler.

Results: The presence of HBV DNA was found in 10 (6.6%) used razor-blade samples by the detection of a specific positive band with agarose gel electrophoresis.

Conclusions: In conclusion, used razor blades may be contaminated with HBV, and the practice of sharing used razor blades may pose a risk of transmission. Nucleic acid detection methods involving PCR can be used to detect HBV contamination of razor blades.  HBV control and prevention programs should educate barbers about the importance of contagious diseases, proper sterilization techniques, and avoiding reuse and sharing of contaminated equipment and supplies such as razor blades. As an infection control measure, prohibition of razor reuse can reduce the spread of HBV infection in rural areas, where the practice is often common at barbershops.

Keywords

Hepatitis B Virus Transmission PCR Prevention

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