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Effect of a Culture-Based Screening Algorithm on Tuberculosis Incidence in Immigrants and Refugees Bound for the United States
Filetype[PDF - 1008.10 KB]


Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    25775314
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4646057
  • Funding:
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Description:
    Background

    Before 2007, U.S.-bound immigrants and refugees were screened for tuberculosis (TB) by a smear-based algorithm that could not diagnose smear-negative and culture-positive TB. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began to implement a culture-based algorithm.

    Objective

    To evaluate the effect of the culture-based algorithm on preventing the importation of TB to the United States by immigrants and refugees from foreign countries.

    Design

    Population-based, cross-sectional study.

    Setting

    Panel physician sites for overseas medical examination.

    Patients

    Immigrants and refugees with TB.

    Measurements

    Comparison of the increase of smear-negative and culture-positive TB cases diagnosed overseas among immigrants and refugees by the culture-based algorithm with the decline of reported TB cases among foreign-born persons within 1 year after arrival in the United States from 2007 to 2012.

    Results

    Of the 3 212 421 arrivals of immigrants and refugees from 2007 to 2012, 1 650 961 (51.4%) were screened by the smear-based algorithm and 1 561 460 (48.6%) were screened by the culture-based algorithm. Among the 4032 TB cases diagnosed by the culture-based algorithm, 2195 (54.4%) were smear-negative and culture-positive. Before implementation (2002 to 2006), the annual number of reported TB cases among foreign-born persons within 1 year after arrival was relatively constant (range, 1424 to 1626 cases; mean, 1504 cases) but decreased from 1511 to 940 cases during implementation (2007 to 2012). During the same period, the annual number of smear-negative and culture-positive TB cases diagnosed overseas among U.S.-bound immigrants and refugees by the culture-based algorithm increased from 4 in 2007 to 629 in 2012.

    Limitation

    This analysis did not control for the decline in new arrivals of nonimmigrant visitors to the United States and the decrease of incidence of TB in their countries of origin.

    Conclusion

    Implementation of the culture-based algorithm in U.S.-bound immigrants and refugees may have substantially reduced the incidence of TB among newly arrived, foreign-born persons in the United States.

    Primary Funding Source

    None.