The data show that HCP are at increased risk for TB infection
Healthcare personnel (HCP) refer to all paid and unpaid persons working in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials (1).
They are at increased risk of tuberculosis (TB) infection compared to the general population (2, 3). Transmission of TB bacteria in healthcare settings can occur from HCP to patients, patients to HCP and between HCP. Virtually every country in the world, regardless of their TB incidence, has reported the spread of TB in healthcare settings to both patients and HCP (3).
How can we protect HCP (and patients) in healthcare settings from TB?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that in all healthcare settings, policies and procedures for TB control should be put into place to determine the actions necessary to minimize the risk for transmission of TB. This includes screening, testing and evaluating HCP who are at risk for exposure to TB disease (4).
TB screening and testing guidelines for HCP
IGRAs drive positive change in the HCP testing landscape
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services (2019). https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/healthcare-personnel/appendix/terminology.html (accessed May 19, 2022)
- Diel, R., Seidler, A., Nienhaus, A., Rusch-Gerdes, S., Niemann, S. (2005) Occupational risk of tuberculosis transmission in a low incidence area. Respir. Res. 6.
- Baussanon, I., Nunn, P., Williams, B., Pivetta, E., Bugiani, M., Scano, F. (2011) Tuberculosis among health care workers. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 17(3), 488-494.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TB Screening and Testing of Health Care Personnel (2021). https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/healthcareworkers.htm (accessed May 19, 2022)
- Lewinsohn, D.M. et al. (2017) Official American Thoracic Society/Infectious Diseases Society of America/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clinical Practice Guidelines: Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Adults and Children. Clin Infect Dis. 64, 111-115.