Serial testing of healthcare workers for latent tuberculosis infection and long-term follow up for development of active tuberculosis

Youngmok Park, Song Yee Kim, Jeong Wha Kim, Moo Suk Park, Young Sam Kim, Joon Chang, Young Ae Kang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection due to occupational exposure. It is important to diagnose TB infections in HCWs to prevent nosocomial transmission, particularly among immunocompromised patients. Objective The aim of this study was to analyze the rate of tuberculin skin test (TST) conversion and to assess the incidence of active TB after the latent TB infection screenings in high-risk HCWs. Methods This retrospective cohort study involved 458 HCWs in TB-related departments between 2009 and 2013. All HCWs underwent a TST and a chest radiograph annually; an interferonγ release assay (IGRA) was performed on the TST-converted subjects. TST-converted and IGRA-positive HCWs underwent treatment for latent TB infection. Results The TST conversion rate was 30.3% from 2009 to 2011 in two years, 7.4% from 2011 to 2012, and 17.4% from 2012 to 2013. Eleven subjects out of 42 TST converters (26%) were IGRA-positive; two of them developed into active pulmonary TB during the follow-up period. Conclusions There was significant discordance between TST conversion and IGRA results in high-risk HCWs, and active TB developed only in TST-converted and IGRA-positive HCWs. Therefore, the combined use of TST and IGRA for periodic monitoring of TB infections in high-risk HCWs may be useful.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0204035
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding:Thisstudywassupportedbyafaculty researchgrantfromYonseiUniversityCollegeof Medicine(,grant number:6-2017-0150).Thefundershadnorolein studydesign,datacollectionandanalysis,decision topublish,orpreparationofthemanuscript.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a faculty research grant from Yonsei University College of Medicine (, grant number: 6-2017-0150). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2018 Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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