Italian multicentre study found infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases in children adopted from Africa and recommends prompt medical screening

Elena Chiappini, Mauro Zaffaroni, Martina Bianconi, Giuseppina Veneruso, Nicolino Grasso, Silvia Garazzino, Rosangela Arancio, Piero Valentini, Anna Ficcadenti, Maria Rosalia Da Riol, Simona La Placa, Luisa Galli, Maurizio de Martino, Gianni Bona

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Abstract

Aim: This study evaluated the prevalence of infectious diseases and immunisation status of children adopted from Africa. Methods: We studied 762 African children referred to 11 Italian paediatric centres in 2009–2015. Clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected and analysed. Results: The median age of the children (60.3% males) was 3 years and 6 months, 52.6% came from Ethiopia and 50.1% had at least one infectious disease. Parasitic infections accounted for the majority of the infectious diseases (409 of 715), and the most common were Giardia lamblia (n = 239), Toxocara canis (n = 65) and skin infections (n = 205), notably Tinea capitis/corporis (n = 134) and Molluscum contagiosum (n = 56) Active tuberculosis (TB) was diagnosed in nine children (1.2%). Latent TB infections were diagnosed in 52 (6.8%) children, and only 23 had concordant positive tuberculin skin tests and Quantiferon Gold In-Tube results. Discordant results were associated with Bacille de Calmette-Guérin vaccinations (odd ratio 6.30 and 95% confidence interval of 1.01–39.20, p = 0.011). Nonprotective antitetanus or antihepatitis B antibody titres were documented in 266 (34.9%) and 396 (51.9%) of the 762 children. Conclusion: The prevalence of infectious conditions and not-protective titres for vaccine-preventable diseases observed in our population underlines the need for prompt and complete medical screening of children adopted from Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1586
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume107
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Immunisation
  • International adoption
  • Parasitic infections
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Chiappini, E., Zaffaroni, M., Bianconi, M., Veneruso, G., Grasso, N., Garazzino, S., Arancio, R., Valentini, P., Ficcadenti, A., Da Riol, M. R., La Placa, S., Galli, L., de Martino, M., & Bona, G. (2018). Italian multicentre study found infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases in children adopted from Africa and recommends prompt medical screening. Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, 107(9), 1581-1586. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.14237