Volume 59 (1985) Issue 3 Pages 315-320
Although it has been though that hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be transmitted by sharing a razor, there have been no report on such a case. We found a case (case A) may have contracted hepatitis B by sharing a razor of her friend who was positive for HBsAg and HBeAg
In January 1983, a 15-year-old, female, junior high school student in Okinawa, Japanan area in which hepatitis B is endemic-developed fulminant, type B hepatitis. We investigated the route of HBV transmission. None of the four other members of her immediate family was positive for HBsAg but at the school she was attending, 14 of the other 341 students (4.1%) and four of the 20 teachers (20.0%) were positive for HBsAg, Eight of these 14 students, but none of the four teachers, were positive for HBeAg. Quetioning revealed that, on overnight school trip two months before she became ill, case A had shared a razor of one of the eight HBeAg-positive students. Case A used the razor to shave her legs immediately after the carrier had used it. Cases A said that they had no attempt to sterilize the razor after the carrier used it. Case A denied habing any other close contact, such as sexual contact or sharing of a tooth brush, with anyone in the six-months period preceeding the onset of her illness. The carrier's HBsAg subtypes was adw; case A's subtype could not be detected because of the low HBsAg titer in her serum.
From the findings described above and the fact that blood positive for HBeAg is thought to be highly infectious, we concluded that case A had possibly contracted hepatitis B by sharing a razor contaminated with HBV. We believe that HBsAg carriers should be taught how to avoid transmitting the disease to others.