Dentistry Newsmakers: Dr. Mary Ellen Macdonald - Tuberculosis and Montreal Aboriginals


Tuberculosis (TB), considered by many Canadians to be a forgotten disease, is alive and well in high-risk aboriginal communities in Montreal. According to the work of Mary Ellen Macdonald, a professor of Oral Health and Society in the Faculty of Dentistry, and a team of researchers at McGill University, the prevalence of latent TB infection among this group is high, nearly 18 per cent as compared to 4.3 per cent in the rest of the population. "While tuberculosis has been nearly eradicated in the non-aboriginal population in Canada, high rates of infection persist among some aboriginal people, especially those who are vulnerable, marginalized and as a result have poor access to health care," says Dr. Macdonald.


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