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Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2001 Aug;5(8):712-6.

Screening for tuberculosis and latent tuberculosis infection among undocumented immigrants at an unspecialised health service unit.

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Clinic of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Brescia, Italy.



Practical or cost-effective strategies to identify undocumented immigrants with latent tuberculosis infection and to deliver treatment for latent TB infection are still unavailable.


To compare completion rates of screening procedures for TB infection and disease among undocumented immigrants at specialised (TB) and unspecialised health services in Italy.


A TB unit (TBU) and an unspecialised health service unit for migrants (MHCU) served as recruitment sites for recent undocumented immigrants from TB endemic areas. The screening included a symptom questionnaire, a tuberculin skin test and a chest X-ray.


Of 1318 eligible subjects, 1232 (93.4%) accepted the screening. Screening was completed by 993 (80.6%) individuals overall, 86.5% and 71.4% at the TBU and MHCU services, respectively. In a multivariate analysis model, the only variable associated with an increased probability of completing screening was being enrolled at the TBU site (OR 2.5, 95%CI 1.8-3.5; P < 0.001). Three hundred and ninety-two subjects (39.4%) had a TST test of > or = 10 mm. Eight cases of active tuberculosis were detected, with a calculated prevalence of disease of 650/100,000.


Undocumented immigrants to Italy can be screened for TB at an unspecialised health service unit, although not as efficiently as at a specialised TB unit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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