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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2009 May;13(5):640-4.

The risk of occupational tuberculosis in Serbian health care workers.

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Institute of Pulmonary Diseases and TB, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.



Health care workers in the Clinical Center of Serbia.


To evaluate tuberculosis (TB) incidence by job category comparing the rates of TB in health care workers (HCWs) working in pulmonary departments, other (non-pulmonary) departments, and in the general population in Serbia.


Prospective cohort study from 1992 to 2004. Assessment of the relationship between employment in different departments and TB incidence was expressed by relative risk (RR), which was calculated using the annual TB incidence in the population of Serbia as the baseline rate.


A total of 24 HCWs developed active TB in the study period. The mean incidence rate was 413.2 per 100000 persons (RR = 12.2) for hospital staff in the pulmonary department and 20.3/100000 (RR = 0.6) for other departments. Nurses and technicians were at 7.8 times higher risk of developing TB than doctors. The mean working period before the onset of illness was 15.1 years (95%CI 5.1-25.1) for HCWs in pulmonary departments and 8.1 years (95%CI 4.6-11.6) in non-pulmonary departments (P = 0.006).


This study indicates that HCWs were at an increased risk of TB, most likely from nosocomial transmission in high-risk departments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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