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.