Introduction. Tuberculosis (TB) is still a threat for healthcare workers (HCW), due to the non decreasing incidence, the spread of drug-resistance, the introduction of new tests for the screening, the relevant costs of surveillance of exposed subjects. These issues implicate a revision of activities to prevent TB in health-care settings. Methods. A multidisciplinary working group, led by occupational physicians, examined the activities to prevent TB performed in 9 Italian hospitals and reviewed the literature, with the aim to formulate evidence-based procedures. Results. In the considered hospitals, 23.000 HCW are classified as exposed to TB, out of 32.000 HCW exposed to biological risks; yearly, about 6000 subjects are screened for preventive, periodical or post-exposure surveillance and 110-130 chemoprophylaxis are prescribed. A high poportion of HCW (54-75%) refused or interrupt to assume the drugs. In the period 2004-2008,14 occupational TB were diagnosed (91100.000 HCW exposed to biological risks). Discussion. Critical issues are the availability of a specific, written TB control plan, including risk assessment, protocols for identifying, evaluating, managing infectious TB patients, health surveillance, education programs, specifically addressed to increase Standard Precaution adoption and compliance to the screening and to adequate risk perception. Risk assessment identify HCW to be included in TB testing (characterized by low positive predictive value), unrecognized TB and environmental control needed; TB risk classification should include no more than 3 or 4 classes and performed by assessing the issues suggested in the Italian guideline. Tubercolin skin test should be used for HCW screening, adding in vitro test in specific circumstances (for example, skin test positivity in BCG vaccinated HCW); the frequency of the screening should not exceed 2 years. Periodical revision of preventive activities should follow up to date scientific literature and need appropriate data computing.
|Translated title of the contribution||Tuberculosis. Focus on risk assessment and health monitoring of healthcare workers: Results and perspective of a multicenter working group|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health