What's new in travellers' diarrhoea: Updates on epidemiology, diagnostics, treatment and long-Term consequences

Audrey V. Adler*, Hailee R. Ciccotti, Spencer J.H. Trivitt, Roland C.J. Watson, Mark S. Riddle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Travellers' diarrhoea (TD) is the most common clinical syndrome affecting travellers. This narrative review summarizes key discoveries reported in the last two years related to TD and suggests areas for future research. Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted for novel data in TD research published between 12 January 2018 and 12 January 2020. Inclusion was based on contribution to epidemiology, aetiology, diagnostics, management and long-Term consequences and relevance to public health, discovery and clinical practice. Results: The initial literature search yielded 118 articles. We retrieved 72 and reviewed 31 articles for inclusion. The findings support our understanding that TD incidence varies by traveller group and environment with students and military-Travel remaining moderately high risk, and control of food and water in mass gathering events remain an important goal. The growth of culture-independent testing has led to a continued detection of previously known pathogens, but also an increased detection frequency of norovirus. Another consequence is the increase in multi-pathogen infections, which require consideration of clinical, epidemiological and diagnostic data. Fluoroquinolone resistant rates continue to rise. New data on non-Absorbable antibiotics continue to emerge, offering a potential alternative to current recommendations (azithromycin and fluoroquinolones), but are not recommended for febrile diarrhoea or dysentery or regions/itineraries where invasive pathogens are likely to cause illness. Recent studies investigated the interaction of the microbiome in TD prevention and consequences, and while discriminating features were identified, much uncertainty remains. The prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) acquisition and carriage is increasing. Finally, continued research documents the post-infectious consequences, whereas mechanisms of reactive arthritis and post-infectious IBS necessitate further investigation. Conclusions: Globally, TD remains an important travel health issue and advances in our understanding continue. More research is needed to mitigate risk factors where possible and develop risk-based management strategies to reduce antibiotic usage and its attendant consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbertaab099
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • PCR
  • antibiotics
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • microbiome
  • reactive arthritis


Dive into the research topics of 'What's new in travellers' diarrhoea: Updates on epidemiology, diagnostics, treatment and long-Term consequences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this