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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-43

Tuberculin skin test evaluation in healthcare workers and distribution by occupation

1 Department of Chest Diseases, SBU İzmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Research and Educational Hospital, İzmir, Turkey
2 Department of Chest Diseases, Turgutlu State Hospital, Manisa, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sami Deniz
SBU İzmir Dr. Suat Seren Chest Diseases and Thoracic Surgery Research and Educational Hospital, İzmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejop.ejop_20_19

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OBJECTIVE: Tuberculosis (TB) is a potential occupational threat for healthcare workers (HCWs) worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the tuberculin skin test (TST) and investigated if there was any difference between occupations. METHODS: This was designed as a prospective study. The analysis was performed on 331 participants. Purified protein derivative was administered to all cases. In addition, cases' age, gender, and smoking status were questioned and their comorbidities were recorded. Both shoulder areas were checked, and the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) scar counts were recorded. RESULTS: Out of a total of 331 participants, 207 were female and 124 were male; mean age was 39 ± 8 (min; 18, max; 61) and TST was 12 ± 6 mm. The cases were categorized by considering participants' exposure to TB (Group-1 - Doctor; Group-2 - Midwife-Nurse-Health Technician-Laboratorian; Group-3 - Technician-Administrative Staff; Group-4 - Secretary-Auxilliary Staff; and Group-5 - Security, Cleaning, Cafeteria Staff). When compared in terms of TST, there was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001). The cases had at least 1 and maximum 3 BCG scars. Based on this, three groups were formed. Two hundred and twenty-three cases had 2 scars, 58 had 1, and 41 had 3. Significant difference was found among three groups, and similarly, there was a statistically significant difference in paired comparisons (P < 0.001; for all comparisons). While the difference was detected in the group with two BCG scars, there was no difference in other groups (P = 0.7, 0.001, and 0.5, respectively). There was a significant difference in terms of TST between genders (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Exposure to TB may vary according to professions, but the socioeconomic situation cannot be determined by professions.

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