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Tuberculosis infection risk, preventive therapy care cascade and incidence of tuberculosis disease in healthcare workers at Maputo Central Hospital.

  • Author(s): Graves, Susannah K;
  • Augusto, Orvalho;
  • Viegas, Sofia Omar;
  • Lederer, Philip;
  • David, Catarina;
  • Lee, Kristen;
  • Hassane, Anila;
  • Cossa, Anilsa;
  • Amade, Salma;
  • Peleve, Susete;
  • Zindoga, Pereira;
  • Massawo, Leguesse;
  • Torriani, Francesca J;
  • Nunes, Elizabete A
  • et al.


Mozambican healthcare workers have high rates of latent and active tuberculosis, but occupational screening for tuberculosis is not routine in this setting. Furthermore, the specificity of tuberculin skin testing in this population compared with interferon gamma release assay testing has not been established.


This study was conducted among healthcare workers at Maputo Central Hospital, a public teaching quaternary care hospital in Mozambique. With a cross sectional study design, risk factors for tuberculosis were assessed using multivariable logistic regression. The care cascade is reported for participants who were prescribed six months of isoniazid preventive therapy for HIV or highly reactive testing for latent tuberculosis infection. The agreement of interferon-gamma release assay results with positive tuberculin skin testing was calculated.


Of 690 screened healthcare workers, three (0.4%) had active tuberculosis and 426 (61.7%) had latent tuberculosis infection. Less education, age 35-49, longer hospital service, and work in the surgery department were associated with increased likelihood of being tuberculosis infected at baseline (p < 0.05). Sex, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination, HIV, outside tuberculosis contacts, and professional category were not. Three new cases of active tuberculosis developed during the follow-up period, two while on preventive therapy. Among 333 participants offered isoniazid preventive therapy, five stopped due to gastrointestinal side effects and 181 completed treatment. For HIV seropositive individuals, the agreement of interferon gamma release assay positivity with positive tuberculin skin testing was 50% among those with a quantitative skin test result of 5-10 mm, and among those with a skin test result ≥10 mm it was 87.5%. For HIV seronegative individuals, the agreement of interferon gamma release assay positivity with a tuberculin skin test result of 10-14 mm was 63.6%, and for those with a quantitative skin test result ≥15 mm it was 82.2%.


There is a high prevalence of tuberculosis infected healthcare workers at Maputo Central Hospital. The surgery department was most heavily affected, suggesting occupational risk. Isoniazid preventive therapy initiation was high and just over half completed therapy. An interferon gamma release assay was useful to discern LTBI from false positives among those with lower quantitative tuberculin skin test results.

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