To determine the prevalence of positive tuberculin skin test (TST) reactions (10 mm or greater) among full-time employees of a provincial prison for women in Montreal.
Participants underwent tuberculin skin testing and completed a self-administered questionnaire.
Among 129 employees identified, 118 (91%) underwent tuberculin testing. Among 102 born in Quebec who completed the questionnaire, 33 (32%) had positive TST reactions, including 12 (23%) of 52 subjects who had never been vaccinated. Positive TST reactions were significantly associated in multivariate analysis with BCG vaccination after infancy (OR = 4.5, 95% CI = 1.5-13.5), years of work at other provincial prisons (OR = 2.5 for each 5 years of work, 95% CI = 1.2-5.2), travel to tuberculosis endemic countries (OR = 7.7, 95% CI = 1.4-43), although not with work in the prison for women (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.9-1.9)
The prevalence of positive TST reactions was greater among workers at a provincial prison for women than among a sample of students, suggesting increased occupational risk of tuberculosis infection.