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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


HERNANDEZ, Mariluz et al. Latent tuberculosis infection screening in healthcare workers in four large hospitals in Santiago, Chile. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.3, pp.254-260. ISSN 0716-1018.

Background: It is currently unknown which is the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection in healthcare workers in Chile, but this group has been described as at higher risk of developing active tuberculosis than general population. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection in a sample of healthcare workers from at risk areas. Methodology: A cross-sectional, descriptive study, conducted in health care workers from clinical laboratories or respiratory care areas in four hospitals in Santiago. Latent tuberculosis infection detection was determined by Quantiferon® TB Gold In Tube testing (QFT). Results: QFT resulted positive in 20 of 76 (26.3%) of the individuals tested. Test positivity reached 62.5% among the personnel that reported history of past TB contact in the community, 50% among the personnel who belonged to the national tuberculosis control program and 38% among those doing induced sputum, acid fast smear or mycobacterial cultures. The proportion of individuals with positive QFT was significantly lower in those personnel who had no such risk factors (15.7%, p = 0.03). The proportion of latent tuberculosis infection also increased in direct relation to the age of the subject. Conclusion: Latent tuberculosis infection as detected by QFT testing was highly prevalent in healthcare workers included in the present study. Further exploring the limitations and possible scenarios for this new diagnostic tool is needed, with emphasis on health personnel at higher-risk and younger individuals.

Palabras clave : Latent tuberculosis; interferon gamma release test; healthcare worker; tuberculosis.

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