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Ann Thorac Med. 2020 Jan-Mar;15(1):33-37. doi: 10.4103/atm.ATM_230_19. Epub 2020 Jan 2.

Incidence of latent tuberculosis infection among health science students during clinical training.

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Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Medicine, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



The prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) has been found to be high among students undergoing clinical training. The aim of this study is to determine the incidence of LTBI among undergraduate health science students after their clinical training and to compare the risk between different college specialties.


This is a retrospective cohort study of students who completed their clinical training from 2010 to 2017. The risk of LTBI was defined based on the conversion of tuberculin skin test (TST) results from negative at the start of training to positive after the completion of training.


A total of 2000 students were evaluated, of whom 1997 were included in this analysis. Six percent tested positive in the first TST of the initial screening. Ten percent of students with a normal baseline TST converted to positive on the follow-up TST. Clinical training in the college of medicine increased the risk of LTBI by 76% (odds ratio: 1.76; 95% confidence interval: 1.04- 2.96; P = 0.03) compared to clinical training in other medical colleges.


The risk of acquiring LTBI during clinical training in health science colleges is 10%. Students in the college of medicine are at significantly higher risk of LTBI than students of other health science specialties.


Latent tuberculosis infection; medical students; tuberculin skin test

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