To determine the prevalence of and the factors associated with latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in prisoners in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
This was a cross-sectional cohort study conducted in two prisons in Minas Gerais. Tuberculin skin tests were performed in the individuals who agreed to participate in the study.
A total of 1,120 individuals were selected for inclusion in this study. The prevalence of LTBI was 25.2%. In the multivariate analysis, LTBI was associated with self-reported contact with active tuberculosis patients within prisons (adjusted OR = 1.51; 95% CI: 1.05-2.18) and use of inhaled drugs (adjusted OR = 1.48; 95% CI: 1.03-2.13). Respiratory symptoms were identified in 131 (11.7%) of the participants. Serological testing for HIV was performed in 940 (83.9%) of the participants, and the result was positive in 5 (0.5%). Two cases of active tuberculosis were identified during the study period.
Within the prisons under study, the prevalence of LTBI was high. In addition, LTBI was associated with self-reported contact with active tuberculosis patients and with the use of inhaled drugs. Our findings demonstrate that it is necessary to improve the conditions in prisons, as well as to introduce strategies, such as chest X-ray screening, in order to detect tuberculosis cases and, consequently, reduce M. tuberculosis infection within the prison system.
Prisons; Tuberculin test; Latent tuberculosis, HIV