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Country differences and determinants of yield in programmatic migrant TB screening in four European countries

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INTRODUCTION The WHO End TB Strategy emphasises early diagnosis and screening of TB in high-risk groups, including migrants. We analysed TB yield data from four large migrant TB screening programmes to inform TB policy.

METHODS We pooled routinely collected individual TB screening episode data from Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom under the European Union Commission E-DETECT.TB grant, described characteristics of the screened population, and analysed TB case yield.

RESULTS We collected data on 2,302,260 screening episodes among 2,107,016 migrants, mostly young adults aged 18–44 years (77.8%) from Asia (78%) and Africa (18%). There were 1,658 TB cases detected through screening, with substantial yield variation (per 100,000): 201.1 for Sweden (95% confidence intervals CI 111.4–362.7), 68.9 (95% CI 65.4–72.7) for the United Kingdom, 83.2 (95% CI 73.3–94.4) for the Netherlands and 653.6 (95% CI 445.4–958.2) in Italy. Most TB cases were notified among migrants from Asia (n = 1,206, 75/100,000) or Africa (n = 370, 76.4/100,000), and among asylum seekers (n = 174, 131.5/100,000), migrants to the Netherlands (n = 101, 61.9/100,000) and settlement visa migrants to the United Kingdom (n = 590, 120.3/100,000).

CONCLUSIONS We found considerable variations in yield across programmes, types of migrants and country of origin. These variations may be partly explained by differences in migration patterns and programmatic characteristics.

Keywords: migrants; screening programmes; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Health Informatics Research, University College London, UK 2: Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University, London, UK, University Medical Centers, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: UK Health Security Agency, London, UK 4: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands 5: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands 6: Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy 7: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden 8: Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, London, UK 9: University Medical Centers, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: October 1, 2022

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