Tackling TB in migrants arriving at Europe's southern border

Lara Goscé, Enrico Girardi, Kasim Allel, Daniela Maria Cirillo, Lucia Barcellini, Giovanna Stancanelli, Alberto Matteelli, Hassan Hagphrast-Bidgoli, Ibrahim Abubakar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over a quarter of the individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis [TB] in the European Union region are born outside of the area and the proportion has been increasing steadily. Italy is a low TB incidence country with over 50% of TB cases in the foreign-born population primarily due to the high numbers of migrants entering the country via land or sea. As a case study to evaluate the value of screening in newly arrived migrants, the EDETECT-TB project in Italy implemented and evaluated active TB screening in the migrant population at first reception centres to ensure early diagnosis to avoid further spread. Based on a cost-effectiveness analysis from a program provider perspective, a decision tree model allowed the assessment of the value for money of case finding by estimating the cost per case of active TB detected compared with the status quo of no screening. The analysis confirmed that early case detection is a cost-effective intervention in areas with migrants arriving from high TB risk settings. Targeted post-arrival early screening of high TB risk vulnerable new entrants to Italy has a potential role in reducing the spread of TB among migrants.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of the E-DETECT TB project (ref. 709624) which has received funding from the European Union’ s Health Programme (2014–2020).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Migrants
  • TB
  • Tuberculosis


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