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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Apr;92(4):848-56. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0520. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Screening of imported infectious diseases among asymptomatic sub-Saharan African and Latin American immigrants: a public health challenge.

Author information

1
Tropical Medicine and Clinical Parasitology, Infectious Diseases Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain begomongem@gmail.com.
2
Tropical Medicine and Clinical Parasitology, Infectious Diseases Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Migrants from developing countries are usually young and healthy but several studies report they may harbor asymptomatic infections for prolonged periods. Prevalence of infections were determined for asymptomatic immigrants from Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa who ettended to a European Tropical Medicine Referral Center from 2000 to 2009. A systematic screening protocol for selected infections was used. Data from 317 sub-Saharan Africans and 383 Latin Americans were analyzed. Patients were mostly young (mean age 29 years); there were significantly more males among sub-Saharan Africans (83% versus 31.6%) and pre-consultation period was longer for Latin Americans (5 versus 42 months). Diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), chronic hepatitis B and C virus infection, and latent tuberculosis were significantly more frequent in sub-Saharan Africans (2.3% versus 0.3%; 14% versus 1.6%; 1.3 versus 0%; 71% versus 32.1%). There were no significant differences in prevalence for syphilis and intestinal parasites. Malaria and schistosomiasis prevalence in sub-Saharan Africans was 4.6% and 5.9%, respectively, and prevalence of Chagas disease in Latin Americans was 48.5%. Identifying and treating asymptomatic imported infectious diseases may have an impact both for the individual concerned and for public health. Based on these results, a systematic screening protocol for asymptomatic immigrants is proposed.

PMID:
25646257
PMCID:
PMC4385785
DOI:
10.4269/ajtmh.14-0520
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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