Using European travellers as an early alert to detect emerging pathogens in countries with limited laboratory resources

Guerin, Philippe J.; Grais, Rebecca Freeman; Rottingen, John Arne; Valleron, Alain Jacques
January 2007
BMC Public Health;2007, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p8
Academic Journal
Background: The volume, extent and speed of travel have dramatically increased in the past decades, providing the potential for an infectious disease to spread through the transportation network. By collecting information on the suspected place of infection, existing surveillance systems in industrialized countries may provide timely information for areas of the world without adequate surveillance currently in place. We present the results of a case study using reported cases of Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 (Sd1) in European travellers to detect "events" of Sd1, related to either epidemic cases or endemic cases in developing countries. Methods: We identified papers from a Medline search for reported events of Sd1 from 1940 to 2002. We requested data on shigella infections reported to the responsible surveillance entities in 17 European countries. Reports of Sd1 from the published literature were then compared with Sd1 notified cases among European travellers from 1990 to 2002. Results: Prior to a large epidemic in 1999-2000, no cases of Sd1 had been identified in West Africa. However, if travellers had been used as an early warning, Sd1 could have been identified in this region as earlier as 1992. Conclusion: This project demonstrates that tracking diseases in European travellers could be used to detect emerging disease in developing countries. This approach should be further tested with a view to the continuous improvement of national health surveillance systems and existing European networks, and may play a significant role in aiding the international public health community to improve infectious disease control.


Related Articles

  • Spontaneous gram-negative bacillary meningitis in adult patients: characteristics and outcome. Pomar, Virginia; Benito, Natividad; López-Contreras, Joaquin; Coll, Pere; Gurguí, Mercedes; Domingo, Pere // BMC Infectious Diseases;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: Spontaneous meningitis caused by gram-negative bacilli in adult patients is uncommon and poorly characterized. Our objective is to describe and compare the characteristics and the outcome of adult patients with spontaneous gram-negative bacilli meningitis (GNBM) and spontaneous...

  • Plant-Associated Bacteria as Human Pathogens: Disciplinal Insularity, Ambilateral Harmfulness, Epistemological Primacy. Starr, Mortimer P. // Annals of Internal Medicine;Apr79, Vol. 90 Issue 4, p708 

    Editorial. Considers the factors that contribute to the emergence of infectious disease. Classification of the factors; Plant-associated bacteria that caused infections in man; Discussion on the existence of plant-animal ambilateral harmfulness.

  • Respiratory pathogens: Something old, something new. Berk, Steven L.; Niederman, Michael S. // Patient Care;5/15/1994, Vol. 28 Issue 9, p65 

    Presents an overview of respiratory pathogens. Etiology of pneumonia; Strains of streptococcus; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Influenza; Chlamydia pneumoniae; Moraxella catarrhalis; Legionella; Diagnosis and treatment regimens; Drug-resistant bacteria. INSETS: Take TB...

  • Know your enemy. Strait, G. Carroll // World & I;Oct98, Vol. 13 Issue 10, p161 

    Discusses the outbreaks of new and reemerging infectious diseases since 1991. Microorganisms that caused each disease; Number of emerging diseases according to a study published in 1992.

  • Global Impact of Diarrheal Diseases That Are Sampled by Travelers: The Rest of the Hippopotamus. Guerrant, Richard L.; Oria, Reinaldo; Bushen, Oluma Y.; Patrick, Peter D.; Houpt, Eric; Lima, Aldo A. M. // Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/2/2005, Vol. 41, pS524 

    Travelers who experience diarrhea (i.e., "turista") are exposed to the same pathogens and illnesses that pose some of the greatest threats to life and development among malnourished children in developing areas around the world, where inadequate water and poor sanitation remain. This article...

  • Looking for Evidence that Personal Hygiene Precautions Prevent Traveler's Diarrhea. Shlim, David R. // Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/2/2005, Vol. 41, pS531 

    In the 50 years during which traveler's diarrhea has been studied, it has always been assumed that personal hygiene precautions can prevent or reduce the likelihood of developing traveler's diarrhea. However, 7 of 8 studies that specifically addressed this issue showed no correlation between the...

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections in Travelers: Implications for Prevention and Control. Abdullah, Abu Saleh M.; Ebrahim, Shahul H.; Fielding, Richard; Morisky, Donald E. // Clinical Infectious Diseases;8/15/2004, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p533 

    Sexually transmissible diseases (STDs), the most common notifiable infectious conditions, remain major threats to reproductive and public health worldwide. Travelers are particularly vulnerable to STDs, because of voluntary or involuntary sexual behavior while abroad, and are significant vectors...

  • Seyahat Aşılaması. Çelebi, Solmaz // Journal of Pediatric Infection / Cocuk Enfeksiyon Dergisi;Dec2008 Supplement, Vol. 2, p91 

    Travelers encounter infections that are absent or uncommon in their own country. The risk of travelers contracting infectious diseases depends on the destination, duration of the trip, and nature and conditions of travel. The risk of specific diseases may be increased during periods in which...

  • Etiology of Gastroenteritis in Sentinel General Practices in The Netherlands. de Wit, Matty A. S.; van Duynhoven, Yvonne T. H. P.; Koopmans, Marion P. G.; Vinje, Jan; Kortbeek, Laetitia M.; van Leeuwen, Nan J. // Clinical Infectious Diseases;8/1/2001, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p280 

    Presents a study which used data on gastroenteritis and its pathogen to examine the association between pathogens and ages and symptoms of infected patients. Patients and methods; Results; Discussion and conclusions.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics