Potential risk of salivary-mediated viral hepatitis type B transmission from oral exposure to fomites

M. T. Osterholm, B. J. Max, M. Hanson, H. F. Polesky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twelve grade school and junior high school students had oral exposures to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive saliva via contact with contaminated musical instruments. The 12 exposed students and 18 students who served as age and sex matched controls were tested for the presence of HBsAg and antibody to the hepatitis surface antigen (anti-HBs) at 2 weeks, 8 weeks and 6 months after exposure. All students were negative for HBsAg and anti-HBs on all dates tested and reported no illness during that time suggestive of viral hepatitis. There was no evidence of viral hepatitis, type B transmission from the exposure. The students probably experienced the maximum possible oral exposure from direct or fomites contact, since there was no cleaning of the musical instruments between use by the students and teacher. Based on these results, the risk of transmission of viral hepatitis, type B from oral contact with fomites is unlikely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-490
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hygiene
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1979

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