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Objective: This study was carried out to determine the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination status and tuberculin skin test (TST) responses in health care workers and to compare the results with the results of healthy individuals who had TST screening in Tuberculosis Dispensary.

Methods: Demographic characteristics of the two groups were analysed by survey form. The TST results and BCG scar counts on the left shoulder of the participants were obtained from Infection Control Committee and Tuberculosis Dispensary records and evaluated retrospectively. After data were recorded in IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows. Version 22.0 (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA) statistical program, descriptive statistics were used for demographic variables, Shapiro-Wilk test was used for normality test, Mann-Whitney U test was used for continuous variables and Pearson χ2 test were used for the other categorical variables.

Results: A total of 294 cases were included in the study. Number of scars ranged from one to four in each group, and the BCG vaccination rate was 98.6% in health care workers and 87.1% in control group (p<0.05). The TST induration diameters of the healthcare workers ranged from 0 to 22 mm, and the results of 32 (21.8%) employees were found to be positive. In the control group, the induration diameters were between 0-18 mm, and 12 (8.2%) were found to be positive. Differences between groups in terms of both mean diameters of induration and the TST positivity were statistically significant (p<0.05). The TST-positive health care workers were evaluated for tuberculosis (TB) and TB was not detected in any of them.

Conclusions: Health care workers are in the risk group for TB. For this reason, employee health units of  each hospital should implement TST and tuberculosis screening programs in a planned way. We determined that health care workers had high TST induration diameters, but none of them had active TB. This may be explained by repeated BCG vaccinations and exposure to mycobacteria other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Klimik Dergisi 2020; 33(1): 19-23.

Cite this article as: İmre A, Arslan-Gülen T, Koçak M, Baş-Şarahman E, Kayabaş Ü. [Examination of tuberculin skin test results of health care workers in a hospital and healthy individuals who are not in risk of tuberculosis]. Klimik Derg. 2020; 33(1): 19-23. Turkish.

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