Travelers taking antibiotics may be helping spread of ‘superbugs’

SHAFAQNA – Not only that, but travelers could also be spreading drug-resistant bacteria to their own countries, contributing the developing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travelers’ diarrhea is the most common illness to impact travelers. An estimated ten million people – 20-50% of international travelers – create the condition, typically occurring within the 1st week of travel.

In most instances, the use of antibiotics is unnecessary. “The good majority of all circumstances of travelers’ diarrhea are mild and resolve on their own,” states lead study author Dr. Anu Kantele.

The authors report that each and every year, about 300 million travelers stop by regions exactly where antimicrobial resistance is a increasing threat. Of these travelers, extra than 20% return to their property countries colonized by resistant intestinal bacteria.

Bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae household can generate a particular enzyme in the gut known as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL). This enzyme is recognized to promote resistance to quite a few frequently-made use of antibiotics.

The CDC state that ESBLs can be tricky to detect mainly because they act in distinctive methods to diverse types of antibiotics. Bacteria that produce ESBLs are capable of causing risky infections that are harder and additional pricey to treat than lots of other infections.

For the study, published in Clinical Infectious Illnesses, the authors analyzed stool samples from 430 Finns ahead of and right after traveling outside of Scandinavia for more than 4 nights to see how quite a few contracted ESBL-creating bacteria even though on their travels.

Participants were also asked to complete two questionnaires. The initially, a pre-travel survey concerning personal information, health-related history and a travel itinerary. Upon returning, the travelers filled out the second questionnaire, regarding their trip and such as queries about attainable symptoms and medication taken.

The researchers identified that 21% of the participants contracted ESBL-creating bacteria though traveling. Risk components identified for colonization were the area the participants traveled to, age, occurrence of travelers’ diarrhea and use of antibiotics for the treatment of diarrhea.

Amongst participants taking antibiotics to treat their diarrhea, 37% became colonized. Amongst travelers visiting the riskiest area for resistant bacteria contraction – South Asia – 80% of these taking antibiotics for diarrhea contracted ESBL-generating bacteria.

None of the 90 travelers that have been colonized by the bacteria went on to develop infections as a result, although the threat of the bacteria spreading from the travelers was nevertheless present. Dr. Kantele believes that a larger sample of colonized travelers would likely have yielded infection situations.

“Much more than 300 million persons stop by these high-threat regions just about every year,” she states. “If around 20% of them are colonized with the bugs, these are really massive numbers. This is a serious thing. The only constructive issue is that the colonization is generally transient, lasting for around half a year.”

Though the study was the biggest on this subject to date, the sample size was still small for travelers going to a quantity of regions, including East Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Data acquired from the study had been also observational and, consequently, further research will be required to decide causation.

For now, the authors create that the most effective approaches for avoiding colonization from ESBL-producing bacteria is by preventing travelers’ diarrhea and restricting the use of antibiotics to treat the condition. “If travelers have been instructed to be additional cautious in their use of antimicrobials, the quantity of colonized men and women could lower dramatically,” they conclude.

The authors of a connected editorial, also published in Clinical Infectious Illnesses, recommend that future research really should investigate the impact of travel on the gut microbiome, measures to avoid travelers’ diarrhea and what criteria need to inform the use of antibiotics for severe instances.

Recently, Medical News Today reported on the discovery of a new class of antibiotic that could signal the finish of drug-resistant superbugs.

Written by James McIntosh

Source :

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *