Latent tuberculosis infection among undergraduate medical students in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

Eleny Guimarães Teixeira, D. Menzies, G. W. Comstock, A. J.L.A. Cunha, A. L. Kritski, L. C. Soares, E. Bethlem, G. Zanetti, A. Ruffino-Netto, M. T.C.T. Belo, L. Selig, M. M.Castello Branco, D. Cherri, S. Maia, R. Marandino, R. R. Luiz, R. E. Chaisson, A. Trajman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


SETTING: Five medical schools in three cities with different tuberculosis (TB) incidence rates in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. OBJECTIVE: To estimate prevalence of and associated factors for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among medical students. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate students in pre-clinical, early and late clinical years from schools in cities with low (28/100000), intermediate (63/100000) and high (114/100000) TB incidence rates. Information on socio-demographic profile, previous BCG vaccination, potential TB exposure, co-morbidity and use of respiratory protective masks was obtained. A tuberculin skin test (TST) was performed using the Mantoux technique by an experienced professional. A positive TST, defined as induration ≥10 mm, was considered LTBI. RESULTS: LTBI prevalence was 6.9% (95%CI 5.4-8.6). In multivariate analysis, male sex (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.8; 95%CI 1.1-3.0), late clinical years (aOR 1.9; 95%CI 1.01-3.5), intermediate TB incidence (aOR 4.3; 95%CI 1.3-14.6) and high TB incidence in the city of medical school (aOR 5.1; 95%CI 1.6-16.8) were significantly associated with LTBI. CONCLUSIONS: The higher prevalence of LTBI in late clinical years suggests that medical students are at increased risk for nosocomial Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. The implementation of a TB control program may be necessary in medical schools, particularly in cities with higher TB incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Medical students
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Nosocomial infection
  • Tuberculin test
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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