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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


NOGUEIRA, Péricles Alves; ABRAHAO, Regina Maura Cabral de Melo  and  GALESI, Vera Maria Neder. Tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis in prison inmates. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.1, pp.119-127.  Epub Dec 13, 2011. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalences of tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis in inmates. METHODS: Observational study was carried out with inmates of a prison and a jail in the State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, between March and December of 2008. Questionnaires were used to collect sociodemographic and epidemiological data. Tuberculin skin testing was administered (PPD-RT23-2TU/0.1 mL), and the following laboratory tests were also performed: sputum smear examination, sputum culture, identification of strains isolated and drug susceptibility testing. The variables were compared using Pearson's chi-square (Χ2) association test, Fisher's exact test and the proportion test. RESULTS: Of the 2,435 inmates interviewed, 2,237 (91.9%) agreed to submit to tuberculin skin testing and of these, 73.0% had positive reactions. The prevalence of tuberculosis was 830.6 per 100,000 inmates. The coefficients of prevalence were 1,029.5/100,000 for inmates of the prison and 525.7/100,000 for inmates of the jail. The sociodemographic characteristics of the inmates in the two groups studied were similar; most of the inmates were young and single with little schooling. The epidemiological characteristics differed between the prison units, with the number of cases of previous tuberculosis and of previous contact with the disease greater in the prison and coughing, expectoration and smoking more common in the jail. Among the 20 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains identified, 95.0% were sensitive to anti-tuberculosis drugs, and 5.0% were resistant to streptomycin. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalences of tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis were higher in the incarcerated population than in the general population, and they were also higher in the prison than in the jail.

Keywords : Latent Tuberculosis; Epidemiology; Prisoners; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Tuberculin Skin Test.

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