The risk for healthcare workers (HCWs) of tuberculosis (TB) attributable to occupational exposure is difficult to determine, as are the conditions contributing to this risk. The objective of the present study was to determine which TB cases among HCWs in the Netherlands were infected during work and to analyse factors which contributed to infection and subsequent disease. The total study population consisted of 101 cases over a 5-yr period. In 67 (66%) subjects the route of infection could be determined by epidemiological and microbiological information. Of these cases, 28 out of 67 (42%) were due to infection at work, 19 (28%) were community acquired, and 20 (30%) were infected abroad. The 28 cases infected at work were subject to an in-depth analysis. Delayed diagnosis of the index case, especially in the elderly patient, was the main cause of patient-to-HCW transmission. In some circumstances, inadequate infection-control measures also contributed to transmission. In conclusion, a high suspicion of tuberculosis by the clinician, adequate infection control measures by hospital authorities, and early identification of latent tuberculosis infection by occupational and public-health specialists are necessary to prevent tuberculosis among healthcare worker. Copyright

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The European Respiratory Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Vries, G., Šebek, M. M. G. G., & Lambregts-van Weezenbeek, C. S. B. (2006). Healthcare workers with tuberculosis infected during work. The European Respiratory Journal, 28(6), 1216–1221. doi:10.1183/09031936.06.00039906