The hidden epidemic of schistosomiasis in recent African immigrants and asylum seekers to Italy.
The prevalence of schistosomiasis among recent refugees from sub-Saharan Africa in Italy is unknown. This is a retrospective review of African immigrants screened at Centre for Tropical Diseases of Negrar from March 2014 to February 2016. Of the 373 immigrants tested, 34% were positive at least at one schistosomiasis test. The proportion of positive ELISA serology was 103/373 (27.6%). At microscopy, infected subjects were 65/373 (17.4%), (51% Schistosoma haematobium, 38% Schistosoma mansoni, 11% both). CCA antigen for S. mansoni was positive in 47/373 individuals (12.6%). We found a particularly high positivity rate in subjects from Mali (72.1%) and Ivory Coast (48%). This "hidden epidemic" of schistosomiasis cannot be longer neglected, considering the risk of severe complications, and the effective and inexpensive treatment available.