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Free Content Tuberculosis in county jail prisoners in the western sector of the city of São Paulo, Brazil

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SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) status among county jail prisoners in the western sector of the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of TB disease and the rate of TB infection in prisoners.

DESIGN: An observational study was conducted in 2000–2001 among 1052 prisoners in nine São Paulo county jails. After the application of an interview and tuberculin skin testing (TST), the following laboratory investigations were carried out: sputum smear examination and culture, identification and drug sensitivity testing.

RESULTS: Of 1052 prisoners, 932 underwent TST (PPD RT23 − 2TU/0.1 ml) and 64.5% were reactors. The prevalence rate of prisoners with active TB per 100000 prisoners was 2065, around 70 times higher than among the Brazilian population and 79 times higher than in the population of the city of São Paulo. Among the 21 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains identified, 85.7% were sensitive and 9.5% were resistant to isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RMP); 4.8% of the total were resistant to INH, RMP and pyrazinamide.

CONCLUSION: TB prevalence and infection rates were much higher in prisoners than among the general population.
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Keywords: county jails; jailed prisoners; laboratory investigations; tuberculin skin test; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology of School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil 2: Butantan Institute, State Secretariat of Health, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 01 February 2006

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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