Hepatitis C in a ward for cystic fibrosis and diabetic patients: possible transmission by spring-loaded finger-stick devices for self-monitoring of capillary blood glucose

Publié le 1 Novembre 2001
Mis à jour le 11 septembre 2019

Objective. To identify the routes of transmission in a nosocomial outbreak of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Design. Epidemiological investigation, including screening for HCV of hospitalized patients, and a retrospective cohort study, review of hygiene and medical practices, and molecular comparison of HCV isolates. Setting. A specialized care unit for cystic fibrosis (CF) and diabetic patients at an acute-care facility in the south of France. Results. Of the 57 CF patients (age in 1995: 2-28 years), 38 (66.7%) were tested and 22 (57.9%) were anti-HCV positive. Eight (50%) of 16 patients with anti-HCV antibody tested by polymerase chain reaction were viremic. No patients had received blood products or had any history of intravenous drug use. All 18 (100%) patients with CF who had ever undergone self-monitoring of capillary blood glucose in the unit were anti-HCV positive, compared to 4 (20%) of 20 who had not (relative risk, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.1-12.0). Seventy (39.5%) of the patients with diabetes were screened for anti-HCV; 12 (18.8%) tested positive, with 3 (25%) positive for HCV-RNA. Patients with diabetes had routine capillary blood glucose monitoring while hospitalized and shared with CF patients the same spring-triggered devices for capillary blood glucose monitoring. The disposable platform of the devices was not changed between patient use. All HCV isolates belonged to the type 1, subtype b, and phylogenetic analysis showed a close homology by sequencing of NS5b and E2/HVR regions. Conclusion. As reported earlier for the hepatitis B virus, shared spring-triggered devices for capillary blood glucose monitoring by finger puncture may transmit HCV. Strict application of Standard Precautions procedures is warranted in any healthcare setting. (R.A.)

Auteur : Desenclos JC, Bourdiol Razes M, Rolin B, Garandeau P, Ducos J, Brechot C, Thiers V
Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 2001, vol. 22, n°. 11, p. 701-7