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      Systematic Monitor Disinfection Is Effective in Limiting HCV Spread in Hemodialysis

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          Background: Patients on chronic hemodialysis are at high risk of HCV infection due to nosocomial transmission. The strict adhesion to universal precautions is the first step in prevention, but other simple tools such as systematic monitor disinfection and the use of separate machines for anti-HCV-positive patients need to be evaluated. Methods: A 5-year prospective study was carried out in 4 dialysis centers enrolling 135 patients. General precautions were adopted, but anti-HCV-positive patients were not isolated. In period A, lasting 24 months, monitor disinfection was performed after each dialysis session with sodium hypochlorite; peracetic acid was also used 3 times a week. In period B, lasting 36 months, 3 dialysis units (77 patients) prolonged the same preventive protocol of period A, while another unit (58 patients) also adopted the use of separate machines for anti-HCV-positive subjects. A third-generation ELISA anti-HCV test was performed every 2 months throughout the study. Results: Anti-HCV antibodies were initially detected in 43 patients (31.8%), prevalence rate ranging from 25 to 39.4%. One seroconversion occurred in period A, with an overall seroconversion rate of 0.54%/year. Also in period B one seroconversion occurred (unit 2), seroconversion rate of 0.36%/year. Therefore the mean seroconversion rate throughout the 5 years was 0.43%/year. Conclusion: Systematic monitor disinfection may be a simple and quite effective tool to avoid nosocomial transmission of HCV infection in the hemodialysis setting. In our opinion its use is mandatory. The use of separate machines for anti-HCV-positive patients seems unnecessary.

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          Most cited references 3

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          An immunoassay for specific amplified HCV sequences.

          The direct detection of viraemia could improve greatly the efficacy of presently available assays. Due to its sensitivity, the polymerase chain reaction represents the method of choice for direct detection of viral nucleic acid. However, the clinical application of this method is hampered by the requirement of hybridization with radioactively labelled probes. In this study we demonstrate that HCV cDNA, amplified by the polymerase chain reaction from both liver tissues and sera, can be detected specifically by a new non-radioisotopic method, DNA enzyme immunoassay, that is based on an antibody that selectively recognizes double, but not single-stranded DNA. The assay reveals the hybridization events, independently from the DNA sequences, and therefore can be used with any combination of primers and probes. Most importantly, the method has a conventional ELISA format and is compatible with standard facilities of clinical laboratories. The availability of this new approach for revealing amplified sequences may facilitate greatly the use of PCR as the method of choice for early diagnosis of HCV infection.
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            Evidence of Hepatitis C Virus Passage Across Dialysis Membrane

            The passage of hepatitis C virus (HCV) across the dialysis membrane is a controversial issue. We performed a study applying extreme conditions of permeability to the dialysis membrane and avoiding the use of heparin and dialysis bath that might interfere with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results. We obtained samples from the ultrafiltrate at the beginning of 18 hemodialysis sessions carried out in 6 HCV RNA-positive patients. HCV RNA was detected by PCR in 3 (16.7%) ultrafiltrate samples belonging to 1 of the patients. HCV genotype was the same as that found in positive ultrafiltrate samples and in the serum corresponding to this patient. The viral load of this patient was under the levels detectable by the assay employed. Therefore, contamination of the ultrafiltrate may constitute a potential risk for HCV transmission in hemodialysis units.
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              Leads from the MMWR. Update: universal precautions for prevention of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens in health-care settings


                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                03 August 2000
                : 18
                : 2
                : 110-114
                Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, ‘Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza’ Hospital IRCCS, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
                14433 Blood Purif 2000;18:110–114
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 32, Pages: 5
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/14433
                Original Paper


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