Communicable diseases prevalence among refugees and asylum seekers: Systematic review and meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: Communicable diseases remain a significant global health issue. The increase in refugees and asylum seekers associated with conflicts may alter the burden of communicable diseases in host countries. We conducted a systematic review of the prevalence of TB, HBC, HCV, and HIV among refugees and asylum seekers by regions of asylum and origin. METHODS: Four electronic databases were searched from initiation to the 25 December 2022. Prevalence estimates were pooled into a random-effect model and were stratified by the region of origin and asylum. Meta-analysis was conducted to explore the heterogeneity of the included studies. RESULTS: The most-reported asylum region was The Americas, represented by the United States of America. Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean was the region of the most-reported origin. The highest reported prevalence of active TB and HIV was among African refugees and asylum seekers. The highest reported prevalence of latent TB, HBV and HCV was among Asian and Eastern Mediterranean refugees and asylum seekers. High heterogeneity was found regardless of the communicable disease type or stratification. CONCLUSION: This review provided insights about refugees’ and asylum seekers’ status around the world and attempted to connect refugees’ and asylum seekers’ distribution and the burden of communicable diseases.


Taha H, Durham J, Reid S




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • Immigrants/Refugees/Non-status
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C
    • Tuberculosis


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