A prospective study of travellers' diarrhoea: analysis of pathogen findings by destination in various (sub)tropical regions

Tinja Lääveri, K. Vilkman, S. H. Pakkanen, Juha Kirveskari, Anu Kantele

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Objectives: Eighty million travellers visiting (sub)tropical regions contract travellers' diarrhoea (TD) each year, yet prospective data comparing the prevalence of TD pathogens in various geographical regions are scarce. Our recent study using modern molecular methods found enteropathogenic (EPEC) and enteroaggregative (EAEC) Escherichia coli to be the most frequent pathogens, followed by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Campylobacter. We revisited our data to compare the findings by geographical region.

Methods: A total of 459 prospectively recruited travellers provided stool samples and completed questionnaires before and after visiting destinations in various geographical regions. A multiplex quantitative real-time PCR assay was used to analyse Salmonella, Yersinia, Campylobacter jejuni/Campylobacter coli, Shigella, Vibrio cholerae, EPEC, EAEC, ETEC, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli and enteroinvasive E. coli.

Results: TD was contracted by 69% (316/459) of the subjects; EPEC and EAEC outnumbered ETEC and Campylobacter in all regions. Multiple pathogens were detected in 42% (133/316) of the samples. The proportions of all pathogens varied by region. The greatest differences were seen for Campylobacter: while relatively frequent in South Asia (n = 11; 20% of the 55 with TD during travel) and Southeast Asia (15/84, 15%), it was less common in East and West Africa (5/71, 7% and 1/57, 2%) and absent in South America and the Caribbean (0/40).

Conclusions: EPEC and EAEC outnumbered ETEC and Campylobacter everywhere, yet the proportions of pathogen findings varied by region, with ETEC and Campylobacter rates showing the greatest differences. The high frequency of multibacterial findings in many regions indicates a need for further investigation of the clinical role of each pathogen. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

TidskriftClinical Microbiology and Infection
Antal sidor8
StatusPublicerad - aug 2018
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 3121 Inre medicin
  • 1183 Växtbiologi, mikrobiologi, virologi

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