Press Releases 2024

Tuberculosis epidemiology in people of Ukrainian origin in the European Union and the European Economic Area, 2019 – 2022

Ukraine has a tuberculosis (TB) notification rate about six times higher than the total rate in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and is a high-priority country in regards to drug-resistant TB. According to Eurostat data, approximately 5 million Ukrainians have been displaced to the countries of the EU/EEA since the start of the Russia – Ukraine war.

In close collaboration with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), we evaluated the tuberculosis epidemiology in Ukrainians notified in the EU/EEA from 2019 to 2022 by using routinely collected surveillance data.

Our results showed an almost fourfold increase of the total notified TB cases in Ukrainians in the region in 2022 (n =780, from an average n=201 in the previous three years). However, cases of Ukrainian origin remained a small proportion (2.2% in 2022) of all cases notified within the EU/EEA. Further, the notification rates in Ukrainian citizens in the EU/EEA were below the reported levels in Ukraine and remained under 20 per 100,000. The proportion of drug-resistant TB forms in the cases of Ukrainian origin in the EU/EEA was high, reflecting the high levels of drug-resistance in Ukraine. In 2022, almost one in five drug-resistant TB cases in the EU/EEA were of Ukrainian origin.

These findings highlight the importance of migrant-sensitive and patient-centred healthcare services to ensure early presentation, treatment initiation and retention in treatment. Further, due to the high levels of drug-resistance, laboratory confirmation and drug-susceptibility testing in Ukrainian TB patients are of vital importance.

Publikation: Stoycheva Krista, Cristea Veronica, Ködmön Csaba, Rosales-Klintz Senia, Zenner Dominik, Vasiliu Anca, van der Werf Marieke, Lange Christoph. Tuberculosis in people of Ukrainian origin in the European Union and the European Economic Area, 2019 to 2022. Euro Surveill. 2024;29(12):pii=2400094. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2024.29.12.2400094

Contact:

Krista Stoycheva
Research Group "Clinical Infectious Disease"
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