Third World invaders from the Horn of Africa who entered Europe pretending to be refuges have introduced a multidrug-resistant new form of tuberculosis “never before been described,” experts at the University of Zurich have announced.
In an official statement released by the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Zurich, that body announced that between February and November 2016, a multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis as discovered in “eight refugees arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa.”
The analyses provided an impulse for launching a transnational investigation and developing a pan-European alerting system, the statement added.
According to the statement, the Mycobacterium tuberculosis found in a Somali in the “refugee” center in Chiasso in February 2016 was extraordinary:
“These bacteria exhibited a new combination of resistance mutations against four different antibiotics that had never before been described,” Peter Keller, Head of Diagnostics, who identified the germ, said in the statement.
The multidrug resistance makes it necessary for people carrying these bacteria to be isolated and undergo intravenous drug treatment at a hospital for several months.
In the months following the discovery, the same resistant germ was also observed in further patients, all of whom had “migrated to Europe from countries on the Horn of Africa,” the statement continued.
In total, the pathogen had been identified in eight invaders from Somalia, Eritrea, and Djibouti between February and November 2016.
This unusual build-up prompted the management of NZM and of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to alert their colleagues across Europe. At the same time, the German reference laboratory in Borstel near Hamburg also registered a case with the same pathogen, the statement added.
The Swiss institute then made their molecular-biological data available to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to enable their team to identify further possible cases in the EU.
In the course of these analyses, the European tuberculosis reference laboratories identified a total of 21 cases in a cross-border collaboration. As with the cases in Switzerland, these patients had also come from the Horn of Africa or Sudan.
“The extraordinary case led to the development of a European alerting organization for dangerous tuberculosis pathogens,” said Keller.
Molecular-genetic analyses and interviews with patients made it possible for the researchers to partially reconstruct the chain of infection.
The data indicates that the tuberculosis pathogen spread among the invaders in a camp near Bani Walid in Libya. Several of the patients diagnosed with this particular resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis had come through this camp on their way to Europe.
Scientists believe that the pathogen originated in northern Somalia, where it is likely to have developed the dangerous new combination of resistances as a result of mutations.