Arch Environ Occup Health 2017 Mar 28;72(2):99-105. Epub 2016 Mar 28.
e Department of Orthodontics , Second University of Naples , Naples , Italy.
To estimate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis (TB) infection (LTBI) in Italian dental students exposed to the same occupational risks as dental health care personnel and to evaluate potential risk factors, a cross-sectional study was conducted on undergraduate and postgraduate students. After clinical evaluation, students were given a tuberculin skin test; in those found positive, an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) was conducted. Of the 281 students enrolled, 10 were only TST positive; 8 were TST or/and IGRA positive. We found that participants testing positive at TST and/or IGRA, a group in which the risk of false LTBI positives is minimal, were older and had been studying longer. Although the prevalence of LTBI among dental students in our study was low, a risk of acquiring a work-related infection exists even in a country with a low incidence of TB. Thus, dental students should be screened to catch LTBI early on.