Point-of-care testing for hepatitis C virus infection at an Italian dental clinic: Portrait of the Pilot study population

Simona Tecco, Maria R. Parisi, Giorgio Gastaldi, Elisabetta Polizzi, Teresa D'Amicantonio, Ilaria Zilocchi, Ivan Gardini, Enrico F. Gherlone, Adriano Lazzarin, Paolo Capparè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The dental clinic is an appropriate place to promote the prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and fast access for care of HCV-positive subjects with new-generation anti-HCV drugs. This study aimed to determine the socio-demographic profile of subjects screened for HCV virus in a dental clinic to acquire useful information for future campaigns of prevention. An easy, free-of-charge, screen salivary test was offered to patients referred to the dental clinic of San Raffaele Scientific Research Hospital in Milan, Italy for dental procedures. These patients were also asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire on demographics and risk behaviours. A total of 1388 of 2097 (66.19%) questionnaires were evaluable. The demographics of the population responding to this initiative was primarily Italians citizen (96.47%), homogeneous gender distribution (55.55%), age over 50 (609 subjects; 43.88%), with high-level education and stable professional positions. 905 subjects (65.20%) were never tested for HCV before. The test showed positive reactivity in 22 cases (1.05%); of these, 21 subjects were known to be HCV-positive, and the test confirmed their status. One subject was newly diagnosed as HCV-positive. The percentage of subjects who were never tested for HCV infection appears too high (905 subjects, i.e., 65.20%), especially among subjects with high level of education and professions, and among adults over 40 or young people (18-25). The easy screening test in dental clinic can help raise awareness, promote early diagnosis and prevention, and provide a fast link to care for HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalNew Microbiologica
Volume42
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Dental Service
  • Direct-To-Consumer Screening and Testing
  • Early detection
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hospital
  • Test and treat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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