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Prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis in health workers: A systematic review of the literature

Published:January 29, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2022.01.021

      Highlights

      • Tuberculosis in health workers is a disease with worldwide repercussions.
      • Health workers may be more exposed to the risk of acquiring tuberculosis.
      • The prevalence of latent tuberculosis in health workers varied across countries but estimated around 28% (95% CI 21-36).
      • Direct contact with sick patients is the main risk factor for health workers acquisitions of tuberculosis.

      Objective

      To identify the prevalence and incidence of tuberculosis in health workers.

      Method

      Systematic literature review, according to the protocol of the Joanna Briggs Institute and report following PRISMA guidelines. Primary studies containing data on the incidence or prevalence of active or latent tuberculosis infection in health workers were considered.

      Results

      2,310 potentially relevant studies were identified in ten databases, of which 24 were included. The prevalence of latent tuberculosis varied between 0.1% and 62.0%, and the annual incidence rate varied from 1.4% to 11.4%. A meta-analysis combining data from the studies identified the prevalence as 28% (95% CI 21-36). Occupational risk factors are related to direct contact with patients having active tuberculosis, and more years of professional experience.

      Conclusions

      Evidences show that tuberculosis is an important occupational problem in health care; however, there are still gaps in information about the epidemiology of tuberculosis in health workers, mainly related to the risk factors.

      Key Words

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