Occupational risk of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in hospital workers.
Boudreau-AY; Baron-SL; Steenland-NK; Gilder-TJ; Decker-JA; Galson-SK; Seitz-T
Am J Ind Med 1997 Nov; 32(5):528-534
The risk of infection associated with occupational exposure to Mycobacterium-tuberculosis (TB) was assessed retrospectively over a 4 year period in a cohort of health care workers employed at a large metropolitan hospital in which a nosocomial outbreak of multidrug resistant TB had occurred. The incidence of tuberculin skin test conversion was compared in employees who had worked on wards with patients with confirmed TB (exposed workers) to the incidence among employees who had worked on wards without such patients (unexposed workers). The incidence of tuberculin skin test conversion was significantly higher among exposed than unexposed workers; a relative risk factor of 13.4 was calculated after controlling for age, race, gender, and salary. The increased risk of conversion among exposed employees was seen only from 1989 to 1991 and not for 1992. The risk of conversion among exposed ward clerks and nurses was similar. The authors conclude that workers who worked in areas containing patients with active TB infection have a higher risk of tuberculin skin test conversion than workers who did not work in such areas. Reasons for the decline in risk over time were discussed.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-exposure; Infectious-diseases; Humans; Bacterial-infections; Health-care-personnel; Disease-transmission; Epidemiology
Dr. Boudreau, NIOSH, Denver Federal Center, PO Box 25226, Denver, CO 80225-0226
American Journal of Industrial Medicine