icon-folder.gif   Conference Reports for NATAP  
  46th Annual ICAAC
Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial
Agents and Chemotherapy
Sept 27-30, 2006, San Francosco
Back grey_arrow_rt.gif
Can Razor Blades Transmit Hepatitis B?
  Reported by Jules Levin
ICAAC, Sept 27-30, 2006, San Francisco
"Determination of Hepatitis B Virus at Used Razor Blade by PCR"
C. EROGLU, M. ZIVALIOGLU, S. ESEN, M. SUNBUL, H. LEBLEBICIOGLU; Ondokuz Mayis Univ. Sch. of Med., Samsun, Turkey.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are among the most devastating health problems in the world. Within the different geographical regions of Turkey, however, the prevalence of HBV is highly variable; HBV carriage is estimated at c. 6% in western parts of the country, rising to 12.5 to 14.3 percents in eastern and southeastern regions, respectively (Mistik R and Balik I, Viral Hepatit 2003, 9-55). The route of transmission of HBV is mainly parenteral, a small number of epidemiological studies demonstrating that perinatal, sexual, household and occupational transmission occurs. The most common probable transmission route was blood contact (41.1% cases), but was unknown (49.4% cases) in Turkey (Leblebicioglu H, Eroglu C, and the Hepatitis Study Group. Clin Microbiol Infect 2004; 10: 537-41).
The sources of HBV infection could be not only above risk factors, but may also include razor sharing, beauty treatments, and tattooing, and piercing, and manicure/chiropody. The aims of the study were to evaluate the role of razor sharing in the spread of viral hepatitis B in Turkey.
Consecutively seventy eight used razor blades were purchased from different barber's shops. Eight used razor blades purchased from chronic HBV patients were used for positive control. All of them were enrolled and put in a single DNAse and RNAse free tube (15 ml). The amplification and detection of HBV DNA was carried out by nested PCR method in a thermal cycler.
HBV DNA was detected in 6 (7.7%) razor blade samples on the basis of positive band at agarose gel electrophoresis.
Reuse of this razor blade that carry HBV will infect other people. Hence any HBV control and prevention program should educate barbers about the importance of contagious diseases, proper sterilization techniques, and avoiding reuse and sharing of contaminated equipment and supplies like razor blade. Additionally block of razor reuse can reduce spreading of hepatitis B virus in rural area.