Jasmina Kucinar was graduated from the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb in 1991 and became a Specialist in Medical Microbiology and Parasitology in 2000. She has worked at the Microbiology Service of Istria County Institute of Public Health as Head of the Serology and Immunology Laboratory.
Aim: The aim of the study was to analyze the prevalence and some risk factors for contracting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in injecting drug users (IDUs) in Istria County.rnrnPatients & Methods: 49 IDUs from Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula were tested in 2014 for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core total antibodies (Anti-HBc) and hepatitis C virus antibodies (Anti-HCV). Study participants were recruited from the counseling center at the Istria County Institute of Public Health. Serologic tests were performed using an enzyme-linked fluorescent assay. Anti-HCV repeatedly reactive samples were further confirmed using a third generation line immunoassay.rnrnResults: The overall prevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HCV was 2%, 38.8% and 75.5%, respectively. Male participants predominated (81.6%). Most of the participants clustered in the 30-49 years age group (83.6%). Prevalence of anti-HBc antibodies increased progressively with age starting sharply with 30 year olds (p=0.008). Sharing injection equipment correlated with HCV infection. Higher seroprevalence rates were found in IDUs who shared occasionally/frequently injection equipment than in participants that did not report sharing (anti-HCV 88.9%/66.7% vs. 57.9%, p=0.049). Results of the logistic regression showed that sharing injection equipment was a significant risk factor for HCV infection (IDUs who shared equipment occasionally: OR=4.32, 95% CI=2.28-8.20; AOR=4.6, 95% CI=2.21-9.57, IDUs who shared equipment frequently: OR=17.11, 95% CI=6.72-46.99; AOR=21.18; 95% CI=7.27-61.64).rnrnConclusion: HBV and HCV infections are widespread among IDUs in Istria. Older age correlated strongly with HBV infection, while sharing injection equipment was the main risk factor for HCV infection.rn
Vlad Vuta is currently a PhD student at the University of Agronomic Study and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest. He is also working at the Institute for Diagnosis and Animal Health Bucharest, Virology Department. He has more than 30 papers and communications in reputed journals and international congresses.
Orf virus, the causative agent of Orf, also known as contagious pustular dermatitis or contagious ecthyma, is the member of the genus Parapoxvirus belong to the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae of the Poxviridae. This genus also includes pseudocowpox virus (Milker\'s nodular virus or Paravaccinia virus) (PCPV), bovine papular stomatitis virus (BPSV) in cattle and Parapoxvirus of red deer in New Zealand. Virions are ovoid shape, 220-300×140-170 nm in size with a surface filament that appear as a regular cross-hatched, spiral coil involving a continuous thread. Contagious ecthyma is an epidermal disease of sheep, goats wild ruminants and humans with a worldwide distribution. Symptoms of sheep infection with Parapoxvirus involve painful erosive papules or vesicles on the muzzle, lips and teats. These lesions are usually to the areas of the virus entry sites. In this communication, we reported the presence of the Orf virus infection in three sheeps in Iasi County, Romania, very quick diagnosed by electron microscopy. The crust specimens have been collected from three sheeps having symptoms consistent with poxvirus associated infections. Tissue specimens were homogenized in tissue mortars, 40% w/v in 1×DMEM medium (Gibco). The samples were centrifuged at 5000× g for 60 min, after which the supernatants were inactivated adding 25% glutaraldehyde 2.5% (Merk) and incubated 30 minutes at room temperature. The negative staining was performed as previously described. Characterization of clinical samples from all three sheeps revealed typical Parapoxvirus particles. The infection is usually diagnosed based on the exposure history and the presence of specific injuries. Virus isolation requires primary ovine or bovine cell lines and may be time consuming and difficult to obtain. Therefore, contagious ecthyma being a self-limiting zoonosis, quick diagnosis is of vital importance to avoid inadequate treatment and unwanted stress.