February 3, 2014

Survival of Hepatitis C Virus in Syringes: Implication for Transmission among Injection Drug Users http://www.natap.org/2010/HCV/082510_04.htm

The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2010 Sept Early publication
Elijah Paintsil,1,2 Huijie He,3 Christopher Peters,4 Brett D. Lindenbach,4 and Robert Heimer3

"It is estimated that the probability of transmission of HCV per exposure to a contaminated syringe is 5-fold to 20-fold higher than that of HIV transmission.....Although harm reduction programs have effectively reduced the incidence of HIV among IDUs, such reductions in incidence have rarely been observed for HCV. The difference in transmission between HCV and HIV may be attributed to a higher infectivity of HCV compared with HIV

"In our experimental simulation of IDU injection practices, we observed that HCV survived in HCV-contaminated syringes for up to 63 days in high void volume syringes. Our finding supports our hypothesis that the efficient transmission of HCV among IDUs may be partly due to the ability of the virus to remain viable in contaminated syringes for prolonged periods. Moreover, we found that HCV survival was dependent on syringe type, time, and temperature. These parameters can be manipulated in the design of public health recommendations and interventions for preventing the spread of HCV among IDUs."

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Hepatitis C Virus Maintains Infectivity for Weeks after Drying on Inanimate Surfaces at Room Temperature: Implications for Risks of Transmission
http://www.natap.org/2013/HCV/120513_03.htm

Journal of Infectious Diseases Advance Access published November 23, 2013 Elijah Paintsil1, Mawuena Binka2, Amisha Patel2, Brett D. Lindenbach3, and Robert Heimer2

"these studies show that HCVcc remains potentially infectious for prolonged periods of time, ranging from 16 hours to 6 weeks depending on the assay system......we have demonstrated that HCVcc can remain infectious at room temperature for up to 6 weeks......."The fact that under these conditions we found HCVcc to be infectious for up to 6 weeks, consistent with our previous report that HCVcc survived in tuberculin syringes for up to 63 days 20, is of public health concern."

" Of infection control relevance is the fact that all the HCVcc-contaminated spots dried at room air within 4 hours, becoming inconspicuous and therefore more likely to cause accidently exposures to HCV. HIV was also reported to dry at room temperature within 3 hours and retain infectivity for up to 7 days"

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