LARYNGOSCOPE, vol.115, no.3, pp.508-511, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Objectives/Hypothesis: Viral hepatitis C is a worldwide public health problem. Hepatitis C virus is mainly transmitted by parenteral or percutaneous route. Nonparenteral transmission, such as through sexual activity, household contact, and vertical or perinatal exposure to body fluids or secretions, can occur, which has been studied before. Cerumen, however, has not been investigated for its ability to transmit hepatitis C virus. The aim of this study is to evaluate the importance of cerumen in transmission of hepatitis C virus infection. Study Design: This study was performed on 35 patients with confirmed chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Methods. Thirty-five cerumen specimens collected from the patients with hepatitis C virus RNA in their sera were prospectively analyzed for the presence of hepatitis C virus RNA by polymerase chain reaction. Results. None of the 35 cerumen specimens were positive for hepatitis C virus RNA. Conclusion: This study showed that cerumen has no risk for transmission of hepatitis C virus infection, even in patients with high hepatitis C virus RNA serum levels; however, standard infection control precautions should be applied carefully in all examinations and surgical operations of the ears.