22 Ago 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.
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