Yield of active screening for tuberculosis among asylum seekers in Germany: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Six articles were included in a meta-analysis to estimate the yield of active screening for tuberculosis among asylum seekers in Germany. The meta-analysis resulted in a pooled yield of 3.47 cases of active tuberculosis per 1,000 screened.

All asylum seekers are screened for tuberculosis upon entry to Germany, yet there is limited evidence regarding the yield of these screening tests. Six articles reported the yield of active tuberculosis based on limited data, ranging from 0.72 to 6.41 cases of active tuberculosis per 1,000 asylum seekers. The pooled estimated of the six studies was 3.47 cases of active tuberculosis per 1,000 screened in Germany. This number was similar to international estimates of active tuberculosis, which was 3.04 cases per 1,000 screened internationally. However, it is important to note that further research is needed to not only develop more targeted screening programs, but determine the number of active TB cases nationally in Germany and in Western Europe. Limitations of this study include the heterogeneity of study characteristics and study results, as well as variations in case definitions and diagnostic methods of tuberculosis.

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