Seroprevalence, Immunostatus and Factors Associated with Blood Borne Viral Infections Among Egyptian Municipal Solid Waste Workers
Waste collectors have a potential risk of infectious diseases. The high prevalence of viral hepatitis B and C in Egypt has elevated the concern regarding the potential for disease transmission among municipal solid waste workers (MSWWs) from solid waste stream sources. Such transmission has never been epidemiologically demonstrated. This study aimed to explore the occurrence of HIV, Hepatitis B and C and to describe possible ways of virus transmission among MSWWs in Egypt.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 346 MSWWs recruited from the main municipality in Alexandria, Egypt. Study procedure entailed interviews using a predesigned questionnaire and blood testing for the blood borne viral markers. Analytical statistics were used to identify independent factors correlated with HCV and HBV infections.
Overall seroprevalences were: hepatitis B; 36.1%; hepatitis C; 8.4%; and HIV; 0.0%. About 50% of the participants were at risk of HBV infection. Subjects were characterized by a predominance of males with low educational and economic levels. HBV infection was found to be significantly associated with younger age, folk circumcision, and the presence of genital complains suggestive of STDs while HCV infection was primarily associated with past history of parenteral anti-schistosomal therapy, intravenous infusion and direct exposure to solid waste.
The present work provides a strong evidence of increased occupational risk of blood borne viral infections among MSWWs. This mandates the need of compulsory HBV immunization proph.