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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona: Latent Tuberculosis Infection Screening Acceptability among Migrant Farmworkers

Latent tuberculosis (TB) infection is routinely diagnosed using the tuberculin skin test (TST). New methods of detection more specific than TST such as QuantiFERON TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) have been developed but evidence remains limited on their acceptability among migrant farmworkers.

[Photo: Dr. Obiyo Osuchukwu]

Researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and colleagues examined the acceptability of screening tests among migrant farmworkers working on the Arizona-Mexico border. The study, “Latent Tuberculosis Infection Screening Acceptability among Migrant Farmworkers”, was published on September 14 in the journal International Migration.

The investigators conducted a cross-sectional survey of migrant farmworkers via questionnaire. Of 83 participants interviewed, 53 (63.9 percent) believed that TB was a serious disease that could result in death and 59 (71.1 percent) considered TB a health concern in their community. Sixty-four participants (77.1 percent) rated QFT-GIT test as performing better than TST.

The findings demonstrates preference for QFT-GIT results over TST, and highlights migrant farmworkers’ considering themselves at risk of TB and TB as a health concern. Policies that create easy access and culturally appropriate, affordable healthcare for this vulnerable population should be encouraged.

The first author Dr. Obiyo Osuchukwu, is a general surgery resident at Banner – University of Arizona Medical Center – Tucson. He received his MPH degree from the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health.


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