High Prevalence of Infectious Diseases and Drug-Resistant Microorganisms in Asylum Seekers Admitted to Hospital; No Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae until September 2015

Sofanne J. Ravensbergen, Mariette Lokate, Darren Cornish, Eveline Kloeze, Alewijn Ott, Alex W. Friedrich, Rob van Hest, Onno W. Akkerman, Wiel C. de Lange, Tjip S. van der Werf, Erik Bathoorn, Ymkje Stienstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The current refugee crisis emphasizes the need for information on infectious diseases and resistant microorganisms in asylum seekers with possible consequences for public health and infection control.


We collected data from asylum seekers admitted to our university hospital or who presented at the Emergency Department (n = 273). We collected general and demographic characteristics including country of origin, the reason of presentation, and the screening results of multi-drug resistant organisms.


67% of the patients were male with a median age of the study group of 24 years (IQR 15-33); 48% of the patients had an infectious disease-predominantly malaria with P. vivax or tuberculosis. Patients also reported with diseases which are less common-e. g. leishmaniasis, or even conditions rarely diagnosed in Europe-e. g. louse borne relapsing fever. A carriage rate of 31% for multi-drug resistant microorganisms (MDRO) was observed, with ESBL-expressing E. coli (n = 20) being the most common MDRO. No carriage of Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae was found.


The current refugee crisis in Europe challenges hospitals to quickly identify and respond to communicable diseases and the carriage of MDRO. A rapid response is necessary to optimize the treatment of infectious diseases amongst asylum seekers to maximize infection control.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0154791
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4-May-2016



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