Pulmonary tuberculosis among political asylum seekers screened at Heathrow Airport, London, 1995-9

Callister, M. E. J.; Barringer, J.; Thanabalasingam, S. T.; Gair, R.; Davidson, R. N.
February 2002
Thorax;Feb2002, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p152
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Over 50% of cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the UK occur in people born overseas, and new entrants to the country are screened for TB. A study was undertaken to determine the prevalence and disease characteristics of pulmonary TB in new entrants to the UK seeking political asylum. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the results of screening 53 911 political asylum seekers arriving at Heathrow Airport between 1995 and 1999 was performed by studying Airport Health Control Unit records and hospital medical records. Outcome measures were chest radiograph abnormalities, sputum smear, culture, and drug resistance data for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Results: The overall prevalence of active TB in political asylum seekers was 241 per 100 000. There were large variations in prevalences of TB between asylum seekers from different regions, with low rates from the Middle East and high rates from the Indian subcontinent and sub-Saharan Africa. The frequency of drug resistance was high; 22.6% of culture positive cases were isoniazid resistant, 7.5% were multidrug resistant (resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin), and 4% of cases diagnosed with active disease had multidrug resistant TB. Conclusions: The prevalence rate of TB in political asylum seekers entering the UK through Heathrow Airport is high and more M tuberculosis isolates from asylum seekers are drug resistant than in the UK population. Extrapolating these figures, it is estimated that 101 political asylum seekers with active pulmonary TB enter the UK every year, of whom about 25 would have smear positive disease.


Related Articles

  • Modification of proportion sensitivity testing method for ethionamide. Lakshmi, Rajagopalan; Ramachandran, Ranjani; Devika, K.; Radhika, G.; Syam Sundar, A.; Rahman, Fathima; Selvakumar, N.; Kumar, Vanaja // World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology;Jun2013, Vol. 29 Issue 6, p1117 

    Standardized methodology for drug susceptibility testing of second line drugs is vital for treatment of multi/extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. Discrepancy between laboratory methods and clinical interpretation is well established for bacteriostatic drugs such as ethionamide. Optimization...

  • Comparison between the BACTEC MGIT 960 system and the agar proportion method for susceptibility testing of multidrug resistant tuberculosis strains in a high burden setting of South Africa. Said, Halima M.; Kock, Marleen M.; Ismail, Nazir A.; Baba, Kamaldeen; Omar, Shaheed V.; Osman, Ayman G.; Hoosen, Anwar A.; Ehlers, Marthie M. // BMC Infectious Diseases;2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p369 

    Background: The increasing problem of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) [ie resistant to at least isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RIF)] is becoming a global problem. Successful treatment outcome for MDR-TB depends on reliable and accurate drug susceptibility testing of first-line and...

  • Southern Africa is moving swiftly to combat the threat of XDR-TB. Wise, Jacqui // Bulletin of the World Health Organization;Dec2006, Vol. 84 Issue 12, p1 

    The article reports on the move of Southern Africa to combat the threat of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. The South African ministry of health called had a meeting with the World Health Organization and representatives from other countries inorder to develop a regional approach to...

  • Multidrug-Resistant TB. Stephenson, Joan // JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;4/21/2004, Vol. 291 Issue 15, p1826 

    Reports that Eastern Europe and Central Asia are major global hotspots for a multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Finding by the World Health Organization that TB patients in these regions are to times more likely to have drug resistant TB than their counterparts in other areas; Nations with high...

  • Newer Strain Of TB Raises Concern. Bauer, Jeff // RN;May2006, Vol. 69 Issue 5, Special section p70 

    Provides information on the extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) based on an international network of TB laboratories. Drugs in which the disease is resistant, including isoniazid; Incidence of TB in the U.S. in 2005; Percentage of XDR TB patients who are more likely to die than...

  • Genetic and phenotypic characterization of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in Hong Kong. Raphael C. Y. Chan; Mamie Hui; Edward W. C. Chan; T. K. Au; Miu L. Chin; Chun K. Yip; Carrie K. W. AuYeang; Christina Y. L. Yeung; Kai M. Kam; Peter C. W. Yip; Augustine F. B. Cheng // Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (JAC);May2007, Vol. 59 Issue 5, p866 

    Objectives To characterize 250 drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates in Hong Kong with respect to their drug susceptibility phenotypes to five common anti-tuberculosis drugs (ofloxacin, rifampicin, ethambutol, isoniazid and pyrazinamide) and the...

  • Perfusing chemotherapy by percutaneous lung puncture in the treatment of extensive drug resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. Yang, Shu-Hua; Ping Zhan; Mei Sun; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Ma, Nan-Lan // Journal of Thoracic Disease;Dec2012, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p624 

    Although progress has been made to reduce global incidence of drug-susceptible tuberculosis, the emergence of multidrug- resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) during the past decade threatens to undermine these advances. XDR-TB has been found to be associated...

  • XDR-TB in the United States. Deresinski, Stan // Infectious Disease Alert;Dec2008, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p1 

    Synopsis: In contrast to some regions of the world, the incidence of XDR-TB in the United States has decreased and remained at a very low level.

  • The medical and surgical treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Calligaro, Gregory L.; Moodley, Loven; Symons, Greg; Dheda, Keertan // Journal of Thoracic Disease;Mar2014, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p186 

    No abstract available.


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics