Background: Migrants in low tuberculosis (TB) incidence countries in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) are an at-risk group for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and are increasingly included in LTBI screening programmes.
Aim: To investigate current approaches and implement LTBI screening in recently arrived migrants in the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
Methods: At least one TB expert working at a national level from the EU/EEA and one TB expert from Switzerland completed an electronic questionnaire. We used descriptive analyses to calculate percentages, and framework analysis to synthesise free-text responses.
Results: Experts from 32 countries were invited to participate (30 countries responded): 15 experts reported an LTBI screening programme targeting migrants in their country; five reported plans to implement one in the near future; and 10 reported having no programme. LTBI screening was predominantly for asylum seekers (n = 12) and refugees (n = 11). Twelve countries use 'country of origin' as the main eligibility criteria. The countries took similar approaches to diagnosis and treatment but different approaches to follow-up. Six experts reported that drop-out rates in migrants were higher compared with non-migrant groups. Most of the experts (n = 22) called for a renewed focus on expanding efforts to screen for LTBI in migrants arriving in low-incidence countries.
Conclusion: We found a range of approaches to LTBI screening of migrants in the EU/EEA and Switzerland. Findings suggest a renewed focus is needed to expand and strengthen efforts to meaningfully include migrants in these programmes, in order to meet regional and global elimination targets for TB.
|Publication status||Published - 24-Mar-2022|