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Open AccessArticle

Hepatitis A Virus Infection and the Waste Handling Industry: A Seroprevalence Study

Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Thessaly, Larissa 41222, Greece
Department of Occupational and Industrial Hygiene, National School of Public Health, Athens 115-21, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4498-4503;
Received: 26 October 2012 / Revised: 25 November 2012 / Accepted: 26 November 2012 / Published: 7 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)
Waste collectors have a theoretical risk of Hepatitis A virus infection. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis A virus infection (HAV) among municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs) in a municipality of central Greece. A seroprevalence study of HAV was conducted among 208 employees (100 waste collectors and 108 municipal gardeners) of a municipality in central Greece. Total antibodies against HAV were measured and information regarding potential risk factors was collected through a face to face interview. The prevalence of HAV infection among the municipal waste collectors was 61% vs. 27% among municipal gardeners. Logistic regression analysis showed that exposure to waste (OR = 2.87; 95% CI = 1.24–6.62) and age (OR = 22.57; 95% CI = 7.29–69.88) were independently associated with the anti-HAV positivity. Moreover, waste collectors who reported smoking/drinking/eating during waste collection were at higher risk of HAV infection (RR = 2.84; 95% CI = 1.73–4.63). Stratified analysis among municipal waste collectors indicated an independent association between eating/smoking/ drinking during waste collection and anti-HAV (+) (OR = 3.85; 95% CI = 1.34–11.06). Occupational exposure to waste is a potential risk factor for HAV infection. Smoking/eating/drinking during waste collection could be the mode of hepatitis A virus transmission among municipal waste collectors. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis A infection; municipal solid waste workers; occupational exposure hepatitis A infection; municipal solid waste workers; occupational exposure
MDPI and ACS Style

Rachiotis, G.; Papagiannis, D.; Thanasias, E.; Dounias, G.; Hadjichristodoulou, C. Hepatitis A Virus Infection and the Waste Handling Industry: A Seroprevalence Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4498-4503.

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