Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori among healthcare workers in endoscopy units

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Abstract

Background

Several modes of transmission of Helicobacter pylori have been described in the literature. These include direct contact between patients, which is considered the most common mode, contaminated water sources and food, and, less commonly, iatrogenic transmission (during endoscopies and dental care), The potential for transmission of infection during a gastrointestinal endoscopy is a matter of concern to both physicians and patients.

Aim of the study

This study aimed to assess the prevalence of H. pylori infection among healthcare workers in the endoscopy unit and evaluate infection control measures in the endoscopy units.

Patients and methods

The study was carried out on 90 individuals classified into three groups: group A included 30 individuals from the general population as a control group, group B included 30 healthcare workers not working in endoscopy units, and group C included 30 healthcare workers in gastrointestinal endoscopy units (this group was recruited from three different endoscopy units). All the groups were subjected to a full assessment of medical history, full clinical examination, and measurement of serum levels of H. pylori IgG antibodies (using the ELISA technique). Infection control measures in the different endoscopy units were evaluated using a structured check list on the basis of Egyptian infection control guidelines.

Results

The results of our study showed that there was no significant difference in the prevalence of H. pylori between healthcare workers inside and outside the endoscopy unit and the control group. The prevalence of H. pylori was inversely related to the total score of compliance to infection control measures in the endoscopy unit.

Conclusion and recommendations

Working in the endoscopy unit is not a risk factor for H. pylori; yet, non compliance with infection control measures is associated with an increased risk of H. pylori in the endoscopy units. Hence, we recommend strict adherence to infection control measures in the endoscopy units.

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