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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


FICA C, Alberto et al. Tuberculosis in healthcare workers. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2008, vol.25, n.4, pp.243-255. ISSN 0716-1018.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an occupational risk hazard that explains 5 to 5.361 additional cases of TB per 100.000 individuals among healthcare workers (HCW) in relation to general population in developing countries. For each clinical case a number of additional infections are occurring, that can be detected by tuberculin skin test conversion among non-BCG vaccinated HCW or by interferon-gamma testing. Risk factors for HCW infection include number of TB patients examined, job characteristics and place of work, delay in diagnostic suspicion, patients with multidrug resistant strains, limited access to appropriate ventilation systems, non-compliance with aerosol dissemination precautions, immune suppressed and/or malnourished HCW. Molecular studies suggest that only 32 to 42% of TB cases among HCW are related to occupational exposure. Useful measures to prevent occupational TB acquisition include a number of administrative-, infrastructure- and personal-related measures that have proven to be successful in reducing occurrence of new infections including clinical TB cases among HCW. In Chile, two official government sponsored guidelines are currently available for preventing TB infection among HCW, issued by the national TBC Control Program and by the National Nosocomial infection Control Program. Major differences in recommendations between these guidelines indicate that an update is urgently needed

Palabras clave : Tuberculosis; epidemiology; healthcare workers; risk factors; prevention.

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