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Abdolrazagh Hashemi-Shahraki 1 Article
Prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection among tuberculosis laboratory workers in Iran
Mahshid Nasehi, Abdolrazagh Hashemi-Shahraki, Amin Doosti-Irani, Saeed Sharafi, Ehsan Mostafavi
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017002.   Published online December 30, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2017002
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The risk of transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from patients to health care workers (HCWs) is a neglected problem in many countries, including Iran. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection (LTBI) among TB laboratory staff in Iran, and to elucidate the risk factors associated with LTBI.
METHODS
All TB laboratory staff (689 individuals) employed in the TB laboratories of 50 Iranian universities of medical sciences and a random sample consisting of 317 low-risk HCWs were included in this cross-sectional study. Participants with tuberculin skin test indurations of 10 mm or more were considered to have an LTBI.
RESULTS
The prevalence of LTBI among TB laboratory staff and low-risk HCWs was 24.83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 21.31 to 27.74%) and 14.82% (95% CI, 11.31 to 19.20%), respectively. No active TB cases were found in either group. After adjusting for potential confounders, TB laboratory staff were more likely to have an LTBI than low-risk HCWs (prevalence odds ratio, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.35 to 3.17).
CONCLUSIONS
This study showed that LTBI are an occupational health problem among TB laboratory staff in Iran. This study reinforces the need to design and implement simple, effective, and affordable TB infection control programs in TB laboratories in Iran.
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