Researchers Find New Drug-Resistant Strain of Tuberculosis in Asylum Seekers

A 26 year old migrant from Guinea is treated for suspected tuberculosis by two doctors of NGO 'Rainbow for Africa' as he arrives in Bardonecchia on January 12, 2018. Migrants are now trying to reach France crossing the Italian Alps by the snow-covered pass Colle della Scala (Col de l'Echelle) …

Swiss medical researchers have announced the discovery of a new strain of tuberculosis that is highly resistant to drugs, found in asylum seekers arrived in Europe from Africa.

University of Zurich scientists detected the pathogen in an asylum seeker who arrived in Switzerland from Somalia in 2016.

The scientists tested a number of other asylum seekers from February to November of the same year and found the disease in eight asylum seekers who all originated from around the East African region, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reports.

Peter Keller, who works as a researcher at the National Reference Center for Mycobacteria (NZM) said the new strain of the disease was a “novel combination of resistance to four different antibiotics, which has never been described”.

A similar, if not the same, strain of the disease, was also found in Borstel, Germany. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) issued out an alert and all the asylum seekers found with the disease were immediately put into quarantine preventing the spread of the disease even further.

A total of 29 asylum seekers in seven different European countries were found to be infected with the disease.

The case is not the first time researchers and doctors have noted that asylum seekers have brought diseases to Europe.

In France, NGOs working with asylum seekers in Paris have noted a rise in the number of cases of the scabies parasite which, if left untreated, can lead to “superinfections” resistant to traditional antibiotics.

In 2016, the World Health Organization warned of the spread of diseases like tuberculosis, polio, measles, and other infectious diseases among asylum seekers from Syria.

That same year, Breitbart London reported that the German healthcare system was being put under extreme stress due to the number of cases of diseases in asylum seekers that were once thought eradicated in Germany.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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