International journal of public health 2017 09 19() doi 10.1007/s00038-017-1034-x
Our study aimed at determining the prevalence of selected infectious diseases among recently arrived Eritrean refugees in Switzerland.
In this cross-sectional study, asymptomatic Eritrean migrants aged ≥16 years who arrived <24 months ago were recruited at refugee centres in Switzerland. Infectious disease screening included serology for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and schistosomiasis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for malaria, stool microscopy for helminths and intestinal protozoa and circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) testing in urine for schistosomiasis. RESULTS
Among 107 participating Eritrean refugees, point-of-care CCA urine test for Schistosoma mansoni was positive in 43 patients (40.2%; 95% CI 31.9-49.5). Stool microscopy detected eggs of S. mansoni in 23 (21.5%; 95% CI 13.7-29.3), Hymenolepis nana in 11 (10.3%; 95% CI 4.5-16.0), and cysts of Giardia intestinalis in 7 participants (6.5%: 95% CI 1.9-11.2). Two tested positive for hepatitis B (1.9%; 95% CI 0.0-4.4) and one for syphilis (0.9%; 95% CI 0.0-2.8), none tested positive for HIV or hepatitis C. Malaria PCR was positive in six participants (5.6%; 95% CI: 1.2-9.9).
Given the high prevalence of S. mansoni infection and potentially severe long-term sequelae of untreated schistosomiasis, routine screening for schistosomiasis in refugees from Schistosoma-endemic regions should be recommended.