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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 746895, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/746895
Research Article

Latent Tuberculosis Infection among a Large Cohort of Medical Students at a Teaching Hospital in Italy

1Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa and Hygiene and Infection Control Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST teaching Hospital, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
2Postgraduate School in Occupational Medicine, University of Genoa and Occupational Medicine Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST teaching Hospital, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
3Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa and Infectious Diseases Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST teaching Hospital, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
4Health Safety and Prevention Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST teaching Hospital, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy
5Quality and Risk Management Unit, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST teaching Hospital, Largo R. Benzi 10, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 4 August 2014; Accepted 13 November 2014

Academic Editor: Francesca Fioredda

Copyright © 2015 Paolo Durando et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The surveillance of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in both healthcare workers and healthcare students is considered fundamental for tuberculosis (TB) prevention. The aim of the present study was to estimate LTBI prevalence and evaluate potential risk-factors associated with this condition in a large cohort of medical students in Italy. In a cross-sectional study, performed between March and December 2012, 1511 eligible subjects attending the Medical School of the University of Genoa, trained at the IRCCS San Martino-IST Teaching Hospital of Genoa, were actively called to undergo the tuberculin skin test (TST). All the TST positive cases were confirmed with an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). A standardized questionnaire was collected for multivariate risk analysis. A total of 1302 (86.2%) students underwent TST testing and completed the questionnaire. Eleven subjects (0.8%) resulted TST positive and LTBI diagnosis was confirmed in 2 (0.1%) cases. Professional exposure to active TB patients (OR 21.7, 95% CI 2.9–160.2; value 0.003) and previous BCG immunization (OR 28.3, 95% CI 3.0–265.1; value 0.003) are independently associated with TST positivity. Despite the low prevalence of LTBI among Italian medical students, an occupational risk of TB infection still exists in countries with low circulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.