Risk of tuberculosis in correctional healthcare workers

Clifford S. Mitchell, Robyn R.M. Gershon, Mary Kathleen Lears, David Vlahov, Sarah Felknor, Rebecca A. Lubelczyk, Martin F. Sherman, George W. Comstock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for occupational infection with tuberculosis among healthcare workers employed in correctional facilities. Methods: The authors conducted a self-administered survey, clinical interview, and tuberculin skin testing. Results: The overall tuberculin skin test point prevalence rate was 17.7%, the reactivity rate was 2.2%, and the annual incidence was 1.3%. At the multivariate level, after controlling for bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination, only origin of birth remained significantly associated with prevalence of tuberculosis infection. Conclusions: Although the prevalence of tuberculin reactivity was high in this population, the risk factors were predominantly demographic rather than occupational. Nevertheless, continued vigilance to control occupational exposure to this and other respiratory pathogens is warranted, given the potential for future outbreaks of tuberculosis, as well as other known and emerging airborne pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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