Latent Tuberculosis Infection among Healthcare Students and Postgraduates in a Mediterranean Italian Area: What Correlation with Work Exposure?

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Abstract

Background: Tuberculosis screening is part of the standard protocol for evaluating the risk of infection in healthcare workers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among students attending various healthcare profession degree courses and postgraduate medical courses at the School of Medicine of the University of Palermo, Italy, and assess the possible professional origin of infection. Methods: In total, 2946 students (2082 undergraduates and 864 postgraduates) took part in a screening program for LTBI between January 2014 to April 2019 using the tuberculin skin test (TST). Students with a positive TST result underwent a Quantiferon-TB test (QFT). Results: Among the 2082 undergraduates, 23 (1.1%) had a positiveTST;theresultwasconfirmedwithQFTfor13(0.62%)ofthem. Amongthe864postgraduate students,24(2.78%)hadapositiveTSTandonly18(2.08%)showedapositiveQTF.Latenttuberculosis infectionsweresignificantlymorefrequentamongpostgraduatesthanundergraduates(2.08% > 0.62%, p < 0.0001). There was a higher number of subjects previously vaccinated for TB (18.87% > 0.24%, p < 0.0001), and of vaccinated subjects found positive for TST and QTF (66.67% > 7.69%, p = 0.001) in the postgraduate group. Conclusion: Latent TB is relatively low among medical school students in our geographic area. Nevertheless, this infectious disease must be regarded as a re-emerging biohazard for which preventive strategies are required to limit the risk of infection, especially among exposed workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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Latent Tuberculosis
Tuberculin Test
Skin Tests
Students
Delivery of Health Care
Infection
Hazardous Substances
Medical Schools
Medical Students
Italy
Communicable Diseases
Tuberculosis
Medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

@article{d5363afac9984d6694fe8ea37d7ef79c,
title = "Latent Tuberculosis Infection among Healthcare Students and Postgraduates in a Mediterranean Italian Area: What Correlation with Work Exposure?",
abstract = "Background: Tuberculosis screening is part of the standard protocol for evaluating the risk of infection in healthcare workers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among students attending various healthcare profession degree courses and postgraduate medical courses at the School of Medicine of the University of Palermo, Italy, and assess the possible professional origin of infection. Methods: In total, 2946 students (2082 undergraduates and 864 postgraduates) took part in a screening program for LTBI between January 2014 to April 2019 using the tuberculin skin test (TST). Students with a positive TST result underwent a Quantiferon-TB test (QFT). Results: Among the 2082 undergraduates, 23 (1.1{\%}) had a positiveTST;theresultwasconfirmedwithQFTfor13(0.62{\%})ofthem. Amongthe864postgraduate students,24(2.78{\%})hadapositiveTSTandonly18(2.08{\%})showedapositiveQTF.Latenttuberculosis infectionsweresignificantlymorefrequentamongpostgraduatesthanundergraduates(2.08{\%} > 0.62{\%}, p < 0.0001). There was a higher number of subjects previously vaccinated for TB (18.87{\%} > 0.24{\%}, p < 0.0001), and of vaccinated subjects found positive for TST and QTF (66.67{\%} > 7.69{\%}, p = 0.001) in the postgraduate group. Conclusion: Latent TB is relatively low among medical school students in our geographic area. Nevertheless, this infectious disease must be regarded as a re-emerging biohazard for which preventive strategies are required to limit the risk of infection, especially among exposed workers.",
author = "{Di Carlo}, Paola and Verso, {Maria Gabriella} and Antonina Ciccarello and Nicola Serra",
year = "2020",
language = "English",
volume = "2020",
pages = "137--149",
journal = "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health",
issn = "1661-7827",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Latent Tuberculosis Infection among Healthcare Students and Postgraduates in a Mediterranean Italian Area: What Correlation with Work Exposure?

AU - Di Carlo, Paola

AU - Verso, Maria Gabriella

AU - Ciccarello, Antonina

AU - Serra, Nicola

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - Background: Tuberculosis screening is part of the standard protocol for evaluating the risk of infection in healthcare workers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among students attending various healthcare profession degree courses and postgraduate medical courses at the School of Medicine of the University of Palermo, Italy, and assess the possible professional origin of infection. Methods: In total, 2946 students (2082 undergraduates and 864 postgraduates) took part in a screening program for LTBI between January 2014 to April 2019 using the tuberculin skin test (TST). Students with a positive TST result underwent a Quantiferon-TB test (QFT). Results: Among the 2082 undergraduates, 23 (1.1%) had a positiveTST;theresultwasconfirmedwithQFTfor13(0.62%)ofthem. Amongthe864postgraduate students,24(2.78%)hadapositiveTSTandonly18(2.08%)showedapositiveQTF.Latenttuberculosis infectionsweresignificantlymorefrequentamongpostgraduatesthanundergraduates(2.08% > 0.62%, p < 0.0001). There was a higher number of subjects previously vaccinated for TB (18.87% > 0.24%, p < 0.0001), and of vaccinated subjects found positive for TST and QTF (66.67% > 7.69%, p = 0.001) in the postgraduate group. Conclusion: Latent TB is relatively low among medical school students in our geographic area. Nevertheless, this infectious disease must be regarded as a re-emerging biohazard for which preventive strategies are required to limit the risk of infection, especially among exposed workers.

AB - Background: Tuberculosis screening is part of the standard protocol for evaluating the risk of infection in healthcare workers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among students attending various healthcare profession degree courses and postgraduate medical courses at the School of Medicine of the University of Palermo, Italy, and assess the possible professional origin of infection. Methods: In total, 2946 students (2082 undergraduates and 864 postgraduates) took part in a screening program for LTBI between January 2014 to April 2019 using the tuberculin skin test (TST). Students with a positive TST result underwent a Quantiferon-TB test (QFT). Results: Among the 2082 undergraduates, 23 (1.1%) had a positiveTST;theresultwasconfirmedwithQFTfor13(0.62%)ofthem. Amongthe864postgraduate students,24(2.78%)hadapositiveTSTandonly18(2.08%)showedapositiveQTF.Latenttuberculosis infectionsweresignificantlymorefrequentamongpostgraduatesthanundergraduates(2.08% > 0.62%, p < 0.0001). There was a higher number of subjects previously vaccinated for TB (18.87% > 0.24%, p < 0.0001), and of vaccinated subjects found positive for TST and QTF (66.67% > 7.69%, p = 0.001) in the postgraduate group. Conclusion: Latent TB is relatively low among medical school students in our geographic area. Nevertheless, this infectious disease must be regarded as a re-emerging biohazard for which preventive strategies are required to limit the risk of infection, especially among exposed workers.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/392211

M3 - Article

VL - 2020

SP - 137

EP - 149

JO - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

JF - International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

SN - 1661-7827

ER -