To the Editor.—
In response to the suggestion by Dr Wislocki1 that hepatitis B and perhaps the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) could be transmitted via reusable diaphragm fitting rings, we are not aware of any reports of hepatitis B transmission implicating such devices. Also, recent laboratory data suggest that the etiologic viruses of both these diseases will in fact be inactivated by the disinfection procedure recommended by the manufacturer.With respect to hepatitis B virus (HBV), lack of an in vitro culture method has hampered study of its inactivation kinetics by chemical or physical agents. This has fostered the concept that it is an unusually resistant virus. However, two recent studies2,3 have shown that the virus is, in fact, sensitive to a spectrum of disinfectant chemicals including alcohols (70% isopropanol, 80% ethanol). In these studies, chimpanzees were directly inoculated with HBV-positive human plasma treated with a variety of
Lettau LA, Bond WW, McDougal JS. Hepatitis and Diaphragm Fitting. JAMA. 1985;254(6):752. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360060050010
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