Screening migrants from tuberculosis high-endemic countries for latent tuberculosis in Oman: A cross sectional cohort analysis

Fatma Alyaquobi, Ali A. AlMaqbali, Amina Al-Jardani, Nduku Ndunda, Bader Al Rawahi, Badr Alabri, Ahmed Mohammed AlSadi, Jamal A. AlBaloshi, Fatma S. Al-Baloshi, Naima A. Al-Essai, Saleh A. Al-Azri, Samiya M. Al-Zadjali, Laila M. Al-Balushi, Eskild Petersen, Seif Al-Abri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


To fulfil the World Health Organization (WHO) End TB strategy, screening for tuberculosis (TB) in immigrants is an important component of the strategy to reduce the TB burden in low-incidence countries. Oman has an annual TB incidence rate of 5.7 per 100000 and transmission from migrants with activated latent TB infection (LTBI) to nationals is a concern. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of migrants to the Sultanate of Oman with LTBI. The study used an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) to assess previous exposure to TB, defining LTBI and a positive IGRA with a normal chest X-ray. 1049 subjects were surveyed. Six participants were excluded from the analysis as they had been recently vaccinated and 1 had an indeterminate result, thus 1042 subjects were included. The overall IGRA-positive rate was 22.4% (234/1042), 30.9% and 21.2% of African and Asian migrants, respectively, were IGRA-positive. Fifty-eight of the participants had a strong IGRA reactivity defined as more than 4 IU/ml. The study shows the proportion of migrants from Asia and Africa with LTBI and 24.7% (58/234) of IGRA-positive migrants had an IGRA of >4 IU/ml, defining a subpopulation with a high risk of developing active TB in the first two years of arrival to the country.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101734
JournalTravel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2020


  • Communicable disease
  • End TB Strategy
  • Immigrants
  • Interferon-gamma release test
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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