Browsing by Subject "ABROAD"

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  • Lääveri, Tinja; Vlot, Jessica A.; van Dam, Alje P.; Häkkinen, Hanni K.; Sonder, Gerard J. B.; Visser, Leo G.; Kantele, Anu (2018)
    Background: One third of travellers to low- and middle-income regions of the tropics and subtropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The risk varies by destination and, for each traveller, may be substantially further increased by travellers' diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic use. Despite the risk of TD in Africa, ESBL-PE acquisition rates in all studies are lower there than in Asia. Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for international travellers, yet minimal data are available from the continent's subregions and countries. Methods: We analysed subregion- and country-specific data on carriage and risk factors for ESBL-PE colonization pooled from three prospective studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 among Finnish and Dutch travellers. The data were subjected to multivariable analysis of risk factors. In addition, we compared our data to two recent large investigations reporting data by subregion and country. Results: Our joint analysis comprised data on 396 travellers. The ESBL-PE colonization rate was highest in Northern Africa, followed by Middle and Eastern Africa, and lowest in Southern and Western Africa. Of individual countries with more than 15 visitors, the highest rates were seen for Egypt (12/17; 70.6%), Ghana (6/23; 26.1%), and Tanzania (14/81; 17.3%); the rates among travellers to Egypt were comparable to those reported in South and Southeast Asia. In a pooled multivariable analysis, travel destination, age, overnight hospitalisation abroad, TD, and use of fluoroquinolones were independently associated with increased ESBL-PE colonization rates. Conlusions: Even in areas with relatively low risk of colonization, antimicrobials clearly predispose to colonization with ESBL-PE. Travellers to Africa should be cautioned against unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • Vilkman, Katri; Lääveri, Tinja; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Kantele, Anu (2019)
    Background: As antibiotics predispose travelers to acquiring multidrug-resistant intestinal bacteria, they should no longer be considered a mainstay for treating travelers' diarrhea. It has been claimed that stand-by antibiotics are justified as a means to avoid visits to local healthcare providers which often lead to polypharmacy. Method: We revisited the traveler data of 316 prospectively recruited volunteers with travelers' diarrhea by retrieving from questionnaires and health diaries information on antibiotic use, stand-by antibiotic carriage, and visits with local healthcare. Multivariable analysis was applied to identify factors associated with antibiotic use. Results: Among our 316 volunteers with travelers' diarrhea, however, carrying stand-by antibiotics seemed not to reduce the rate of healthcare-seeking; on the contrary, antibiotic use was more frequent among stand-by antibiotic carriers (34%) than non-carriers (11%). Antibiotics were equally taken for severe and incapacitating travelers' diarrhea, but compared to non-carriers, stand-by antibiotic carriers resorted to medication also for mild/moderate (38% vs. 4%) and non-incapacitating disease (29% vs. 5%). Antibiotic use was associated with stand-by antibiotic carriage (OR 7.2; 95%CI 2.8-18.8), vomiting (OR 3.5; 95%CI 1.3-9.5), incapacitating diarrhea (OR 3.6; 95%CI 1.3-9.8), age (OR 1.03; 95%CI 1.00-1.05), and healthcare visit for diarrhea (OR 465.3; 95%CI 22.5-9633.6). Conclusions: Carriage of stand-by antibiotics encouraged less cautious use of antibiotics. Recommendations involving prescription of antibiotics for all travelers require urgent revision.
  • Vilkman, Katri; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Laaveri, Tinja; Siikamäki, Heli Marja-Sisko; Kantele, Anu (2016)
    Background: The annual number of international tourist arrivals has recently exceeded one billion, yet surprisingly few studies have characterized travelers' behavior, illness, and risk factors in a prospective setting. Particularly scarce are surveys of data spanning travel, return, and follow-up of the same cohort. This study examines behavior and illness among travelers while abroad, after return home, and at follow-up. Patterns of behavior connected to type of travel and illness are characterized so as to identify risk factors and provide background data for pre-travel advice. Methods: Volunteers to this prospective cohort study were recruited at visits to a travel clinic prior to departure. Data on the subjects' health and behavior were collected by questionnaires before and after journeys and over a three-week follow-up. In addition, the subjects were asked to fill in health diaries while traveling. Results: The final study population consisted of 460 subjects, 79 % of whom reported illness during travel or on arrival: 69 % had travelers' diarrhea (TD), 17 % skin problems, 17 % fever, 12 % vomiting, 8 % respiratory tract infection, 4 % urinary tract infection, 2 % ear infection, 4 % gastrointestinal complaints other than TD or vomiting, and 4 % other symptoms. Of all subjects, 10 % consulted a doctor and 0.7 % were hospitalized; 18 % took antimicrobials, with TD as the most common indication (64 %). Ongoing symptoms were reported by 25 % of all travelers upon return home. During the three-week follow-up (return rate 51 %), 32 % of respondents developed new-onset symptoms, 20 % visited a doctor and 1.7 % were hospitalized. Factors predisposing to health problems were identified by multivariable analysis: certain regions (Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, and Eastern Africa), female gender, young age, and long travel duration. Conclusions: Despite proper preventive measures like vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, and travel advice, the majority of our subjects fell ill during or after travel. As the symptoms mostly remained mild, health care services were seldom needed. Typical traveler profiles were identified, thereby providing a tool for pre-travel advice. The finding that one third reported new-onset illness during follow-up attests to the importance of advising clients on potential post-travel health problems already during pre-travel visits.