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Background and aim

As a consequence of socioeconomic and political crises in many parts of the world, many European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries have faced an increasing number of migrants. In the German federal state of Bavaria, a mandatory health screening approach is implemented, where individuals applying for asylum have to undergo a medical examination that includes serological testing for HIV and hepatitis B, screening for tuberculosis, and until September 2015, stool examination for spp. and spp.. : Data from mandatory screening of all first-time asylum seekers in Bavaria in 2015 was extracted from the mandatory notification and laboratory information system and evaluated. : The HIV positivity and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity rate of tested samples from asylum seekers were 0.3% and 3.3%, respectively, while detection rate of active tuberculosis was between 0.22% and 0.38%. The rates for HIV, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis among asylum seekers were similar to the corresponding prevalence rates in most of their respective countries of birth. Only 47 spp. (0.1%) were isolated from stool samples: 45 enteric and two typhoid serovars. Beyond mandatory screening, louse-borne relapsing fever was found in 40 individuals. : These results show that mandatory screening during 2015 in Bavaria yielded overall low positivity rates for all tested infectious diseases in asylum seekers. A focus of mandatory screening on specific diseases in asylum seekers originating from countries with higher prevalence of those diseases could facilitate early diagnosis and provision of treatment to affected individuals while saving resources.


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