Aim: This study evaluated the prevalence of infectious diseases and immunisation status of children adopted from Africa. Methods: We studied 762 African children referred to 11 Italian paediatric centres in 2009–2015. Clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected and analysed. Results: The median age of the children (60.3% males) was 3 years and 6 months, 52.6% came from Ethiopia and 50.1% had at least one infectious disease. Parasitic infections accounted for the majority of the infectious diseases (409 of 715), and the most common were Giardia lamblia (n = 239), Toxocara canis (n = 65) and skin infections (n = 205), notably Tinea capitis/corporis (n = 134) and Molluscum contagiosum (n = 56) Active tuberculosis (TB) was diagnosed in nine children (1.2%). Latent TB infections were diagnosed in 52 (6.8%) children, and only 23 had concordant positive tuberculin skin tests and Quantiferon Gold In-Tube results. Discordant results were associated with Bacille de Calmette-Guérin vaccinations (odd ratio 6.30 and 95% confidence interval of 1.01–39.20, p = 0.011). Nonprotective antitetanus or antihepatitis B antibody titres were documented in 266 (34.9%) and 396 (51.9%) of the 762 children. Conclusion: The prevalence of infectious conditions and not-protective titres for vaccine-preventable diseases observed in our population underlines the need for prompt and complete medical screening of children adopted from Africa.
- International adoption
- Parasitic infections
- Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health