Wave of undocumented migrants in the Canary Islands: new challenges for European microbiologists

Abstract number: 1733_1008

Montesinos I., Miguel M., Campos S., Pedroso Y., Torres A., Sierra A.

Introduction: From June to October 2006, 25,000 undocumented immigrants from West Africa have reached the Canary Islands by boat from the coast of Senegal and Mauritania, i.e. 3 times the number during the first 5 months of 2006 and around five times the total for the whole of last year. Most have arrived in Tenerife. The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of this immigrants' wave for the laboratory of microbiology of the University Hospital of Canary Islands (HUC).

Methods: The samples received and the results obtained in the section of parasitology were assessed differentiating two periods: January–May and June–October, 2006. Parasite examination was performed in faecal specimens, urine and broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) after concentration by microscopic exam with iodine, trichrome and Kinyoun staining. Graham test to pinworm screening was also performed. Blood samples were analysed by thin and thick blood films stained with Giemsa stain.

Results: During the first period of study (January–May) approximately 8,000 undocumented immigrants arrived to Canary Islands. During this period the parasitology section of the HUC received a total of 953 samples for detection of parasites: 783 stool samples, 160 Graham tests and 10 blood samples. Only 3 samples were positives for Giardia lamblia (1) and Entamoeba coli (2) and no cases of malaria were detected. From June to October the number of immigrants rose 25,000 individuals. The total number of samples received for detection of parasites ascended to 1,527: 1,239 stool samples, 221 Graham tests, 7 urines, 2 BAL and 58 blood samples. Significant increase in the number of isolates and diversity of pathogens were observed comparing to the first period: Ancylostoma duodenale (2), Ascaris lumbricoides (7), Giardia lamblia (6), Entamoeba coli (29), Endolimax nana (8), Iodamoeba bütschlii (2), Enterobius vermicularis (5), Schistosoma haematobium (2) and Plasmodium falciparum (12).

Conclusion: Both the number and the variety of samples and techniques realised as well as the parasites observed have increased in the last five months coinciding with a new wave of undocumented migrants arrived this summer to the Canary Islands. This should make us think about the need to guarantee the necessary human and material resources as well as training and update courses in parasitology.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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