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Topical Collection "Risk of Tuberculosis Infection in Health Care"

Editors

Dr. Anja Schablon
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Competence Centre for Epidemiology and Health Services Research for Healthcare Professionals (CVcare), University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany
Interests: Tuberculosis prevention strategies in healthcare settings; health personnel; latent TB infection; epidemiology
Prof. Dr. Albert Nienhaus
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
1. Competence Centre for Epidemiology and Health Services Research for Healthcare Professionals (CVcare), University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), 20246 Hamburg, Germany
2. Department for Occupational Medicine, Hazardous Substances and Health Science, Institution for Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (BGW), 22089 Hamburg, Germany
Interests: occupational health; tuberculosis in health workers; violence against health workers; leadership and workers’ health; low back pain in health workers; psycho-social exposure in health workers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The WHO assumes that tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS) worldwide. Millions of people continue to fall sick with TB each year. About 1.7 billion people, 23% of the world's population, are estimated to have a latent TB infection, and are thus at risk of developing active TB disease during their lifetime. Tuberculosis has also made an impressive comeback in low-income countries. In Germany, for example, the number of tuberculosis patients increased by 29% in 2015.

TB thus remains a very important occupational hazard for health workers (HW) in countries with low, medium, and high TB incidence. The risk appears particularly high when there is increased exposure combined with inadequate infection control measures. Both undiagnosed and late-diagnosed tuberculosis represent a major problem. The implementation of protective measures is often inadequate. According to WHO, the rapid diagnosis and successful treatment of people with TB and LTBI avert millions of deaths each year, but there are still large and persistent gaps in TB detection and treatment. 

The introduction of the Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) has led to changes in TB screening in some countries. In other countries, the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) is still advocated for the screening of HW. HW are regularly tested for LTBI and TB. Therefore, test variability and interpretation of the IGRA in repeated tests are important issues. New generations of IGRAs are available, but so far, they have not been well evaluated for LTBI/TB screening in HW. Little is known about the progression risk after a positive TST or IGRA in a HW.

This Special Issue is intended to report on the latest advances in research on LTBI and TB among HW. It is open to studies on any of the related topic. We are looking for research articles covering areas such as screening strategies and diagnosis of TB/LTBI in HW, treatment of LBTI, protective measures, prevention strategies, epidemiological data in individual areas of health care, and the new generations of IGRA.

Dr. Anja Schablon
Prof. Dr. Albert Nienhaus
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Tuberculosis
  • Latent TB Infection
  • Health Personnel
  • Epidemiology
  • TB Prevention Strategies
  • Protective Measures
  • IGRA
  • Tuberculin Skin Test (TST)
  • Nosocomial Infections

Published Papers (1 paper)

2020

Article
Tuberculosis among Health Workers—A Secondary Data Analysis of German Social Accident Insurance Data from 2002–2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1564; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051564 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of fatal infections worldwide. Recent TB figures in Europe indicate that 30 people were infected with tuberculosis each hour in 2017. Healthcare workers are at particular risk of being infected through patient contact. TB is the [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common cause of fatal infections worldwide. Recent TB figures in Europe indicate that 30 people were infected with tuberculosis each hour in 2017. Healthcare workers are at particular risk of being infected through patient contact. TB is the second most common occupational infectious disease among German healthcare workers. Routine data from the German Social Accident Insurance were used to examine trends in occupational TB diseases. We analyzed annual cross-sectional data for the years 2002 to 2017. The data underwent descriptive analysis. A total of 4653 TB cases were recognized as occupational diseases (OD) in the period under study. In 2002, 60 TB cases were recognized as OD No. 3101, i.e., transmissions from person to person. Since 2013, the level has settled at around 500 recognized cases per year. This is around eight times the number of cases compared to 2002. The following three groups collectively accounted for the largest share of TB cases (88.5%): nurses (including geriatric nurses), other healthcare employees, and physicians. The upward trend in the number of TB cases recognized as occupational diseases is probably due to improvements in diagnostic tests used to diagnose TB infections. TB in health and welfare workers remains an important issue in the health and welfare sector in Germany, partly due to the long latency period between potential exposure to infectious patients or materials and the recognition of the latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) or active TB as OD. Full article
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