Hepatitis B immunization analysis: Tracking of antibody levels among dental patients
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Aim: To verify the immunization status of dental students against HBV using an immunochromatographic rapid test and explore its associated protective and preventive effects against the disease. Material and methods: This transversal epidemiological study was conducted in a public dental school in Brazil. A total of 263 dental students who were at clinical practice were invited to participate in the study. A semi-structured questionnaire that investigated the issues related to the theme was created for data collection. An immunochromatographic test for the detection of anti-Hepatitis B surface antigen was used to verify the immunization status. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: Approximately 59.2% of the participants did not know the etiological agent of hepatitis B infection, and 36.6% did not know the number of doses of hepatitis B vaccines. Furthermore, 53.2% of the participants were immunized against HBV. Logistic regression showed that those who received less than three doses of the vaccine (OR = 2.539) or did not know how many doses they received (OR = 3.022) had higher risks of not developing the immunity. Moreover, age (OR = 0.834) was a protective factor against non-immunization. Conclusion: There was a low prevalence of dental students who were immunized against HBV. The number of vaccine doses received and the participants' age had significant associations with the immunization status. Clinical significance: Deals with an issue of major impact on the public health because of the high rates of hepatitis B in the general population, as well as the lack of knowledge of the subject by a large part of dental surgeons and dental students.