Some occupational groups have an increased risk of tuberculosis, including:

  • embalmers
  • healthcare workers who are likely to encounter patients with tuberculosis — for example, staff at chest clinics
  • people involved in autopsies

People in these occupations are not routinely recommended to receive BCG vaccine because:

  • the evidence of benefit of BCG vaccination in adults is limited 
  • vaccination interferes with the interpretation of tuberculin skin test (TST) results

Consider BCG vaccination for TST-negative healthcare workers who are at high risk of exposure to drug-resistant tuberculosis. This is because drug-resistant infections are difficult to treat.

In the workplace, tuberculosis prevention and control should focus on: 

  • infection control measures
  • employment-based TST screening 
  • therapy for latent tuberculosis infection

Page history

Last updated: 
6 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
6 June 2018

Definitions

BCG
bacille Calmette-Guérin