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May 27, 1974

Hepatitis B Transmission by Dentists

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc. (Drs. Levin and Mendeloff) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore (Drs. Levin, Maddrey, Mendeloff, and Wands). Dr. Wands is now at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 1974;228(9):1139-1140. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230340041029

Two dentists sharing office facilities developed hepatitis B antigen (HB Ag)-positive hepatitis. One was severely ill with hepatitis progressing to postnecrotic cirrhosis. During convalescence, he became a carrier of HB Ag. Twelve patients, treated by this dentist on his resumption of practice, developed HB Ag-positive hepatitis over a four-month interval. None of the hepatitis patients had had blood transfusions, contact with other jaundiced persons, or illicit drug use. This outbreak suggests inapparent parenteral modes of hepatitis transmission by dental personnel.

(JAMA 228:1139-1140, 1974)