In most settings with a low incidence of tuberculosis (TB), foreign-born people make up the majority of TB cases, but the distribution of the TB risk among different migrant populations is often poorly quantified. In addition, screening practices for TB disease and latent TB infection (LTBI) vary widely. Addressing the risk of TB in international migrants is an essential component of TB prevention and care efforts in low-incidence countries, and strategies to systematically screen for, diagnose, treat and prevent TB among this group contribute to national and global TB elimination goals.
This review provides an overview and critical assessment of TB screening practices that are focused on migrants and visitors from high to low TB incidence countries, including pre-migration screening and post-migration follow-up of those deemed to be at an increased risk of developing TB. We focus mainly on migrants who enter the destination country via application for a long-stay visa, as well as asylum seekers and refugees, but briefly consider issues related to short-term visitors and those with long-duration multiple-entry visas. Issues related to the screening of children and screening for LTBI are also explored.
IOM Contributor: Paul Douglas