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Free Content Pediatric tuberculosis immigration screening in high-immigration, low-incidence countries

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BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) screening in migrant children, including immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, is an ongoing challenge in low TB incidence countries. Many children from high TB incidence countries harbor latent TB infection (LTBI), and some have active TB disease at the point of immigration into host nations. Young children who harbor LTBI have a high risk of progression to TB disease and are at a higher risk than adults of developing disseminated severe forms of TB with significant morbidity and mortality. Many countries have developed immigration TB screening programs to suit the needs of adults, but have not focused much attention on migrant children.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the TB immigration medical examination requirements in children in selected countries with high immigration and low TB incidence rates.

DESIGN: Descriptive study of TB immigration screening programs for systematically selected countries.

RESULTS: Of 18 eligible countries, 16 responded to the written survey and telephone interview.

CONCLUSION: No two countries had the same approach to TB screening among migrant children. The optimal evidenced-based manner in which to screen migrant children requires further research.

Keywords: children; immigration; screening; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Divisions of Respirology and Infectious Diseases, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa at The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 2: Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 3: Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Bern, Switzerland 4: Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 5: Travel and Migrant Health Section for Infections, London, UK 6: Direction Générale de la Santé, Sous-direction de Prévention des Risques Infectieux, Paris, France 7: Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 8: Department of Tuberculosis and AIDS, Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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