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Factors Associated With Tuberculin Reactivity in Two General Hospitals in Mexico


To identify risk factors associated with tuberculin reactivity in healthcare workers (HCWs).


Cross-sectional survey of tuberculin reactivity (2 TU of purified protein derivative (PPD) RT23, using the Mantoux two-step test).


Two general hospitals located in a region with a high prevalence of tuberculosis and high bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) coverage.


Volunteer sample of HCWs.


605 HCWs were recruited: 71.2% female; mean age, 36.4 (standard deviation [SD], 8.2) years; 48.9% nurses, 10.4% physicians, 26.8% administrative personnel; mean time of employment, 10.9 (SD, 6.7) years. PPD reactivity (≥10 mm) was found in 390 (64.5%). Multivariate analysis revealed an association of tuberculin reactivity with occupational exposure in the hospital: participation in autopsies (odds ratio [OR], 9.3; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 2.1-40.5; P=.003.), more than 1 year of employment (OR, 2.4; CI95, 1.1-5.0; P=.02), work in the emergency or radiology departments (OR, 2.0; CI95,1.03-3.81; P=.04), being physicians or nurses (OR, 1.5; CI95, 1.04-2.11; P=.03), age (OR, 1.04; CI95, 1.02-1.07 per year of age; P<.001), and BCG scar (OR, 2.1; CI95, 1.2-3.4; P=.005).


Although the studied population has a high baseline prevalence of tuberculosis infection and high coverage of BCG vaccination, nosocomial risk factors associated with PPD reactivity were identified as professional risks; strict early preventive measures must be implemented accordingly.

Corresponding author
Instituto Nacional de Salud Público, Ave Universidad No. 655, Col Sta Ma Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca CP 62508, México
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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