During 1986-87 this continuing survey showed 15 specific infections in the staff of 235 laboratories, representing 28,524 person years of exposure. The community was the probable source of four of the five cases of tuberculosis and one of the five cases of salmonellosis. Occupational exposure was the probable cause of four infections by Shigella flexneri, three by Salmonella typhimurium, and one by S typhi, all affecting medical laboratory scientific officers (MLSOs) in microbiology. Occupational exposure was also the probable cause of one case of tuberculosis in a mortuary technician and one of probable non-A, non-B hepatitis in a medical laboratory scientific officer haematology worker. The overall incidence of reported infections was 52.6/100,000 person years (35/100,000 for infections of probable occupational origin). The highest rates of laboratory acquired infections related to MLSO microbiology workers and mortuary technicians. No additional infections were seen as a result of extending the survey to forensic laboratories.
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