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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1995 Mar;16(3):160-5.

Transmission of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis among persons exposed in a medical examiner's office, New York.

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  • 1Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



To determine the prevalence of and risk factors for having a positive tuberculin skin test (TST) result among employees at a medical examiner's office (MEO).


Cohort study, environmental investigation.


Several employees at a medical examiner's office were found to have positive TST results after autopsies were performed on persons with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).


Employees of the MEO.


Of 18 MEO employees, 5 (28%) had a positive TST result; 2 of these 5 had TST conversions. We observed a trend between TST conversion and participation in autopsies on persons with MDR-TB (2 of 2 converters versus 3 of 13 employees with negative TST; relative risk = 4.3; 95% confidence interval 1.61 to 11.69; P = 0.10). The environmental investigation revealed that the autopsy room was at positive pressure relative to the rest of the MEO and that air from the autopsy room mixed throughout the facility.


A systematic approach to preventing transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in autopsy suites should include effective environmental controls and routine tuberculin skin testing of employees.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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