Tuberculosis among Health Care Workers

University A. Avogadro, Novara, Italy.
Emerging Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6.75). 03/2011; 17(3):488-94. DOI: 10.3201/eid1703.100947
Source: PubMed


To assess the annual risk for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among health care workers (HCWs), the incidence rate ratio for tuberculosis (TB) among HCWs worldwide, and the population-attributable fraction of TB to exposure of HCWs in their work settings, we reviewed the literature. Stratified pooled estimates for the LTBI rate for countries with low (<50 cases/100,000 population), intermediate (50-100/100,000 population), and high (>100/100,000 population) TB incidence were 3.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0%-4.6%), 6.9% (95% CI 3.4%-10.3%), and 8.4% (95% CI 2.7%-14.0%), respectively. For TB, estimated incident rate ratios were 2.4 (95% CI 1.2-3.6), 2.4 (95% CI 1.0-3.8), and 3.7 (95% CI 2.9-4.5), respectively. Median estimated population-attributable fraction for TB was as high as 0.4%. HCWs are at higher than average risk for TB. Sound TB infection control measures should be implemented in all health care facilities with patients suspected of having infectious TB.

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    • "A work-related risk of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and active tuberculosis (TB) among healthcare workers (HCWs) exists even in areas with low incidence of TB among the general population, such as Europe [1] [2] [3]. The majority of occupational active cases in the healthcare sector occur when the TB infection risk is underestimated and control programs are lacking [4] [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The surveillance of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in both healthcare workers and healthcare students is considered fundamental for tuberculosis (TB) prevention. The aim of the present study was to estimate LTBI prevalence and evaluate potential risk-factors associated with this condition in a large cohort of medical students in Italy. In a cross-sectional study, performed between March and December 2012, 1511 eligible subjects attending the Medical School of the University of Genoa, trained at the IRCCS San Martino-IST Teaching Hospital of Genoa, were actively called to undergo the tuberculin skin test (TST). All the TST positive cases were confirmed with an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). A standardized questionnaire was collected for multivariate risk analysis. A total of 1302 (86.2%) students underwent TST testing and completed the questionnaire. Eleven subjects (0.8%) resulted TST positive and LTBI diagnosis was confirmed in 2 (0.1%) cases. Professional exposure to active TB patients (OR 21.7, 95% CI 2.9–160.2; p value 0.003) and previous BCG immunization (OR 28.3, 95% CI 3.0–265.1; p value 0.003) are independently associated with TST positivity. Despite the low prevalence of LTBI among Italian medicalstudents, an occupational risk of TB infection still exists in countries with low circulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · BioMed Research International
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    • "[1]. Malnutrition, homelessness and alcoholism, along with HIV infection and other diseases that weaken the immune system, or immunosuppressive therapies (in which TNF-alpha blockers are especially significant) are typical risk factors for activation of LTBI [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The risk of tuberculosis (TB) in healthcare personnel (HCP) is related to its incidence in the general population. Healthcare students involved in clinical training could be exposed to occupational risks similar to those that HCP face. The prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among undergraduate healthcare students with different working seniority in Italy was analysed. A cross-sectional study under a screening programme for LTBI among undergraduate and postgraduate students attending Medical School at the Second University of Naples was conducted between January 2012 and December 2013 with clinical evaluations, tuberculin skin testing (TST) and, in positive TST students, Interferon-γ release assays (IGRA). Putative risk factors for LTBI were assessed by means of a standardised questionnaire. 3,374 students attending the Medical School of the Second University of Naples were submitted to a screening programme for TBC. 3,331 performed TST as a first-level test and 43 performed a Quantiferon test (QFT). 128 students were TST-positive and continued the diagnostic work with QFT, which was positive in 34 students. Of the 43 subjects who took the QFT as a first-level test only 1 was positive. In 35 students positive to the QFT test we formulated the diagnosis of LTBI by clinical and radiographic results. A correlation was found between age, non-Italian born persons, studying age, post-medical school status and LTBI. The prevalence of LTBI among healthcare students in our study was very low. In countries with a low incidence of TB, the screening programmes of healthcare students can be useful for early identification and treatment of sporadic cases of LTBI.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
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    • "South Africa had the third highest incident cases of tuberculosis (TB) globally with an annual incidence of 993/100,000 in 2011 [1], and an incidence as high as 1,142/100,000 in KwaZulu-Natal province [2]. TB has long been considered an occupational hazard for health care workers (HCWs) [3, 4] and it is estimated that the risk of active TB disease is two to three times greater in HCWs than in the general population [5, 6]. More than 50% of HCWs worldwide are estimated to have latent TB infection; however the burden of active TB disease among HCWs is less well documented [5, 7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Tuberculosis (TB) is an occupational hazard for health care workers (HCWs) who are at greater risk of developing TB than the general population. The objective of this study was to compare the difference in TB incidence among HCWs with versus without a history of working in TB wards, to estimate the incidence of TB among HCWs, and to identify risk factors for TB disease in HCWs. Methods A retrospective cohort study (January 2006 to December 2010) was conducted in three district hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data were abstracted via chart review from occupational health medical records. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a Poisson multilevel mixed model. Results Of 1,313 (92%) medical charts reviewed with data on location of work documented, 112 (9%) cases of TB were identified. Among HCWs with TB 14 (13%) had multidrug-resistant TB. Thirty-six (32%) were cured, 33 (29%) completed treatment, and 13 (12%) died. An increased incidence of TB was reported for HCWs with a history of working in TB wards (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 2.03, 95% CI 1.11-3.71), pediatric wards (IRR 1.82 95% CI 1.07-3.10), outpatient departments (IRR 2.08 95% CI 1.23-3.52), and stores/workshop (IRR 2.38 95% CI 1.06-5.34) compared with those without such a history. HCWs living with HIV had a greater incidence of TB (IRR 3.2, 95% CI 1.54-6.66) than HIV-negative HCWs. TB incidence among HCWs was approximately two-fold greater than that of the general population over the study period. Conclusions HCWs working in a TB ward had an increased incidence of TB. However, a greater incidence of TB was also found in HCWs working in other wards including pediatric wards, outpatient departments and stores. We also identified a greater incidence of TB among HCWs than the general population. These findings further support the need for improved infection control measures not only in TB or drug-resistant TB wards or areas perceived to be at high-risk but also throughout hospitals to protect HCWs. Additionally, it is recommended for occupational health services to routinely screen HCWs for TB and provide HCWs with access to care for TB and HIV.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Public Health
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