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Nosocomial Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection Among Residents with Diabetes in a Skilled Nursing Facility

  • Amy J. Khan (a1), Suzanne M. Cotter (a1), Beth Schulz (a2), Xiaolei Hu (a1), Jon Rosenberg (a3), Betty H. Robertson (a1), Anthony E. Fiore (a1) and Beth P. Bell (a1)...
<span class='bold'>Objective:</span>

To identify exposures associated with acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among residents with diabetes in a skilled nursing facility.

<span class='bold'>Design:</span>

Residents from Unit 3 and other skilled nursing facility residents with diabetes were tested for serologic evidence of HBV infection. Two retrospective cohort studies were conducted. Potential routes of HBV transmission were evaluated by statistical comparison of attack rates.

<span class='bold'>Setting:</span>

A 269-bed skilled nursing facility.

<span class='bold'>Participants:</span>

All skilled nursing facility residents with diabetes and skilled nursing facility residents who lived on the same unit as the index case (Unit 3) for some time during the case's incubation period.

<span class='bold'>Results:</span>

All 5 residents with acute HBV infection had diabetes and resided in Unit 3. The attack rate among the 12 patients with diabetes in Unit 3 was 42%, compared with 0% among 43 patients without diabetes (relative risk, 37.2; 95% confidence interval, 4.7 to ∞). Acutely infected patients with diabetes received more morning insulin doses (P = .05), and more insulin doses (P = .03) and finger sticks (P = .02) on Wednesdays than did noninfected patients with diabetes. Two chronically infected patients with diabetes in Unit 3 were positive for hepatitis B e antigen and regularly received daily insulin and finger sticks. Of the 4 acute and 3 chronically infected residents from whom HBV DNA was amplified, all were genotype F and had an identical 678-bp S region sequence. Although no component of the lancets or injection devices was shared among residents, opportunities for HBV contamination of diabetes care supplies were identified.

<span class='bold'>Conclusions:</span>

Contamination of diabetes care supplies resulted in resident-to-resident transmission of HBV. In any setting in which diabetes care is performed, staff need to be educated regarding appropriate infection control practices.

Corresponding author
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA30333
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2. MJ Alter , J Ahtone , JE Maynard . Hepatitis B virus transmission associated with a multiple-dose vial in a hemodialysis unit. Ann Intern Med 1983;99:330333.

7. T Nakano , L Lu , X Hu , et al. Characterization of hepatitis B virus genotypes among Yucpa Indians in Venezuela. J Gen Virol 2001;82:359365.

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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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