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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 1806-3713On-line version ISSN 1806-3756

Abstract

RODRIGUES, Patrícia Marques et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection among community health workers involved in TB control. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.4, pp.351-358. ISSN 1806-3713.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-37132009000400009.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, using tuberculin skin test, among community health agents (CHAs) monitoring TB patients in the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Brazil. METHODS: We included 30 CHAs acting in the Family Health Program and 30 of their family members residing in the same household. The tuberculin skin test results of each CHA were compared with those of the corresponding family member. RESULTS: Of the 30 CHAs, 27 (90.0%) were female, compared with 23 (76.7%) of the 30 family members (p = 0.299). The mean age of the CHA group and of the family member group was, respectively, 36.8 and 39.7 years. No statistically significant difference was found between the groups regarding the level of education. Regarding M. tuberculosis exposure, the same number of participants in the two groups reported having known or had contact with a TB patient (17 individuals; 56.7%). There was a statistically significant difference regarding positive tuberculin skin test results (26.7% in the CHA groupand 3.3% in the family member group; p = 0,011). CONCLUSIONS: M. tuberculosis infection was significantly higher among CHAs than among their family members, fueling the debate on the occupational risk involved in the activities of these professionals.

Keywords : Community health aides; Tuberculosis; Tuberculin test.

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