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Prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection among multinational healthcare workers in Muhayil Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this work was to assess the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in multinational healthcare workers (HCWs) in Muhayil, Saudi Arabia.

Materials and methods

This work was carried out in 2013 and included all hired HCWs in Muhayil National Hospital (MNH), Muhayil, south of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected from HCWs including age, sex, job category, and country of citizenship. They were examined for LTBI using the tuberculin skin test (TST) after obtaining their consent to perform the test. CXR was also carried out in all participants to (and if needed sputum stain for Mycobacterium tuberculosis smear) for the detection of active disease. Statistical analysis was carried out, and P values less than 0.05 were considered significant.

Results

Out of the 208 HCWs tested with TST, 47 (22.5%) were positive. The prevalence of LTBI was the highest in the age group of 50 years or more [26.3% (n = 5)] and the lowest in the age group 20–29 years [19% (n = 14)]. The prevalence of LTBI was the highest in nurses [28.7% (n = 21)] and the lowest in physicians [16.5% (n = 7)]. The prevalence of LTBI was the highest in HCWs from the Philippines [27.5% (n = 23)] and the lowest in HCWs from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen [16.5% (n = 3)]. Signs suggestive of inactive TB were found in 10% of the participants (N = 21), and all of them were TST positive (44.5% of all TST-positive participants).

Conclusion

LTBI is prevalent in HCWs in MNH, especially in nurses and in HCWs from countries with high rates of tuberculosis (Philippine and South Asia).

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Correspondence to Nabil A. Abdelghaffar Hibah MD.

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Hibah, N.A.A., Hasan, HE.A. Prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection among multinational healthcare workers in Muhayil Saudi Arabia. Egypt J Bronchol 9, 183–187 (2015). https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.158078

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/1687-8426.158078

Keywords

  • healthcare workers
  • latent tuberculosis
  • Saudi Arabia
  • tuberculin