[Enteropathogens in travellers returning from the tropics].Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1986 Jul 26; 116(30):999-1002.SM
Diarrhea is not only the most common health hazard during travel in the tropics but also the most frequent condition which prompts returning travellers to see a physician. The prevalence of bacterial and parasitic enteropathogens in people attending our outpatient department after returning from the tropics has been studied and the laboratory results of stool examinations have been compared with clinical symptoms. Of the 173 persons enrolled, 19 (11%) harboured bacterial pathogens and pathogenic protozoans (Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica) were found in 26 (15%). The data of 156 patients were evaluated. Enteropathogenic bacteria and/or protozoa were found in 29 (46%) of the 63 patients presenting with diarrhea at the time of investigation. In contrast, 10 (11%) of the 93 asymptomatic subjects had enteropathogenic organisms in the feces (p less than 0.01). The results appear to confirm that bacteriological stool examinations of travellers returning from the tropics without diarrhea are not usually indicated, even if a history of transient travellers' diarrhea is reported. Parasitological investigations are justified in this group only if asymptomatic carriage of Giardia or E. histolytica is considered an indication for specific treatment.