Systematic tuberculosis screening in asylum seekers in Italy

Background: The high flow of migrants arriving from high tuberculosis (TB) incidence countries to lower TB incidence European ones raises concerns of TB transmission among migrants/asylum seekers. We report one-year data of active TB-screening of migrants (hereafter intended as asylum seekers) performed in an Italian reception centre located in Bologna, Emilia Romagna Region, Northern Italy.
Material and methods: Active TB screening to all migrants arriving to the regional hub is being implemented since July 2014. All the individuals undergo chest X-ray (CXR), regardless the presence of TB symptoms. An individual questionnaire collecting travel history and presence of TB suggestive symptoms is filled with the aid of cultural mediators.
Results: From August 2014 to July 2015, 3366 individuals were screened for active TB with CXR. Overall, 18 individuals were diagnosed with TB: all were males, mean age was 25 year (range 18-38); 84% (n=15) were from West Africa. Overall, 94% (n=17/18) of patients were affected by pulmonary TB. Six patients (33%) were completely asymptomatic at diagnosis.
Conclusion: These preliminary findings reveal a post-entry screening prevalence rate of 535/100,000 individuals screened (95% CI 317-844). To our knowledge this is the first report of results of active TB screening using CXR as first line test implemented in Italy.

Elisa Vanino
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.