IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1263: Tuberculosis Specific Interferon-Gamma Production in a Current Refugee Cohort in Western Europe International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061263 Authors: Alexandra Jablonka Christian Dopfer Christine Happle Georgios Sogkas Diana Ernst Faranaz Atschekzei Stefanie Hirsch Annabelle Schäll Adan Jirmo Philipp Solbach Reinhold Ernst Schmidt Georg M. N. Behrens Martin Wetzke Background: In 2015, a high number of refugees with largely unknown health statuses immigrated to Western Europe. To improve caretaking strategies, we assessed the prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in a refugee cohort. Methods: Interferon-Gamma release assays (IGRA, Quantiferon) were performed in n = 232 inhabitants of four German refugee centers in the summer of 2015. Results: Most refugees were young, male adults. Overall, IGRA testing was positive in 17.9% (95% CI = 13.2&ndash;23.5%) of subjects. Positivity rates increased with age (0% &lt;18 years versus 46.2% &gt;50 years). Age was the only factor significantly associated with a positive IGRA in multiple regression analysis including gender, C reactive protein, hemoglobin, leukocyte, and thrombocyte count and lymphocyte, monocyte, neutrophil, basophil, and eosinophil fraction. For one year change in age, the odds are expected to be 1.06 times larger, holding all other variables constant (p = 0.015). Conclusion: Observed LTBI frequencies are lower than previously reported in similar refugee cohorts. However, as elderly people are at higher risk for developing active tuberculosis, the observed high rate of LTBI in senior refugees emphasizes the need for new policies on the detection and treatment regimens in this group.
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