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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

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

Abstract

LACERDA, Thamy Carvalho et al. Tuberculosis infection among primary health care workers. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2017, vol.43, n.6, pp.416-423. ISSN 1806-3713.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s1806-37562016000000211.

Objective:

To estimate the prevalence of and determine the risk factors associated with latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among primary health care workers in the city of Vitória, Brazil.

Methods:

This was a cross-sectional study with data collected through a survey regarding socio-demographic, occupational, clinical, and exposure characteristics, as well as knowledge about tuberculosis, conducted between 2011 and 2012. All participants underwent a tuberculin skin test (TST), and TSTs were read at 72 h by a trained professional.

Results:

A total of 218 primary health care workers participated in the study. The prevalence of TST positivity at the ≥ 10-mm and ≥ 5-mm cut-off points was, respectively, 39.4% (95% CI: 32.9-45.9) and 54.1% (95% CI: 47.4-60.7). Regarding occupational categories, community health agents had the highest proportion of TST positivity, regardless of the cut-off point (≥ 10 mm: 47.5%; and ≥ 5 mm: 60.5%). Regarding factors associated with TST results, “having had a previous TST” showed a statistically significant association with TST positivity at the ≥ 10-mm and ≥ 5-mm cut-off points (OR = 2.5 [95% CI: 1.17-5.30] and OR = 2.18 [95% CI: 1.23-3.87], respectively).

Conclusions:

The prevalence of LTBI was found to be high among the primary health care workers in this sample. Therefore, we recommend the establishment of a periodic screening program for LTBI and implementation of effective biosafety policies for the prevention of this infection among primary health care workers.

Keywords : Health personnel; Tuberculin test; Latent tuberculosis; Primary health care.

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