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      Surveillance of enteropathogenic bacteria, protozoa and helminths in travellers returning from the tropics


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          Diarrhoea is a frequent symptom associated with travelling to tropical regions, but the cause is often not found. Epidemiology was assessed including up-to-date real-time PCR approaches.

          We analysed datasets of 528 patients who presented at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, between 2006 and 2010 for screening purposes or because of diarrhoea. Stool samples were obtained and investigated by microscopy, bacterial culture, two PCR assays targeting Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, Giardia duodenalis, and Cryptosporidium parvum, or Salmonella spp., Shigella/EIEC spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Yersinia spp.

          Among patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, 51% tested positive for bacteria or parasites, of which 66% had a known enteropathogenic potential. In patients without diarrhoea, 53% ( n = 80) were positive, and 33% of these cases harboured agents of pathogenic potential. Association with clinical symptoms was primarily found for bacterial infections. Blastocystis hominis, however, was more frequent in asymptomatic than in symptomatic travellers.

          In conclusion, the study stresses the etiological relevance of bacterial gastroenteritis in travellers returning from the tropics, the need for molecular approaches to increase diagnostic sensitivity and demonstrates that asymptomatic carriage of enteropathogens after prolonged stays in the tropics is similarly frequent compared with symptomatic infections in travellers.

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          Most cited references40

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          Laboratory diagnostic techniques for Entamoeba species.

          The genus Entamoeba contains many species, six of which (Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, Entamoeba moshkovskii, Entamoeba polecki, Entamoeba coli, and Entamoeba hartmanni) reside in the human intestinal lumen. Entamoeba histolytica is the causative agent of amebiasis and is considered a leading parasitic cause of death worldwide in humans. Although recent studies highlight the recovery of E. dispar and E. moshkovskii from patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, there is still no convincing evidence of a causal link between the presence of these two species and the symptoms of the host. New approaches to the identification of E. histolytica are based on detection of E. histolytica-specific antigen and DNA in stool and other clinical samples. Several molecular diagnostic tests, including conventional and real-time PCR, have been developed for the detection and differentiation of E. histolytica, E. dispar, and E. moshkovskii in clinical samples. The purpose of this review is to discuss different methods that exist for the identification of E. histolytica, E. dispar, and E. moshkovskii which are available to the clinical diagnostic laboratory. To address the need for a specific diagnostic test for amebiasis, a substantial amount of work has been carried out over the last decade in different parts of the world. The molecular diagnostic tests are increasingly being used for both clinical and research purposes. In order to minimize undue treatment of individuals infected with other species of Entamoeba such as E. dispar and E. moshkovskii, efforts have been made for specific diagnosis of E. histolytica infection and not to treat based simply on the microscopic examination of Entamoeba species in the stool. The incorporation of many new technologies into the diagnostic laboratory will lead to a better understanding of the public health problem and measures to control the disease.
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            Global etiology of travelers' diarrhea: systematic review from 1973 to the present.

            Fifty-one published studies of travelers' diarrhea (TD) were examined to look for regional differences in pathogens identified. Enterotoxigenic E. coli was detected in 1,678/5,518 (30.4%) of TD cases overall, with rates in Latin America/Caribbean (L. America), Africa, south Asia, and Southeast Asia of 1,109/3,302 (33.6%), 389/1,217 (31.2%), 153/499 (30.6%), and 36/500 (7.2%), respectively (P < 0.001). Enteroaggregative E. coli was the second most common agent in L. America, found in 166/689 (24.1%), compared with 3/165 (1.8%) in Africa and 33/206 (16%) in south Asia (P < 0.001). Other significantly regional differences were seen for enteropathogenic E. coli, diffusely adherent E. coli, Campylobacter, Shigella spp., Salmonella, Aeromonas spp., Plesiomonas, Vibrios, rotavirus, noroviruses, Giardia, and Entoamoeba histolytica. The regional differences in pathogen identification identified will serve as a baseline for antimicrobial therapy recommendations and vaccines strategies.
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              Update on the pathogenic potential and treatment options for Blastocystis sp

              Although Blastocystis is one of the most common enteric parasites, there is still much controversy surrounding the pathogenicity and potential treatment options for this parasite. In this review we look at the evidence supporting Blastocystis as an intestinal pathogen as shown by numerous case studies and several in vivo studies and the evidence against. We describe the chronic nature of some infections and show the role of Blastocystis in immunocompromised patients and the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and Blastocystis infection. There have been several studies that have suggested that pathogenicity may be subtype related. Metronidazole is the most widely accepted treatment for Blastocystis but several cases of treatment failure and resistance have been described. Other treatment options which have been suggested include paromomycin and trimethroprim- sulfamethoxazole.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                09 September 2020
                14 October 2020
                : 10
                : 3
                : 147-155
                [1 ] Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute, Bundeswehr Hospital Hamburg , Hamburg, Germany
                [2 ] Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine , Hamburg, Germany
                [3 ] Institute for Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medicine Rostock , Rostock, Germany
                [4 ] Department for Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene, Bundeswehr Central Hospital Koblenz , Koblenz, Germany
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author. Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute, Bundeswehr Hospital Hamburg, Bernhard-Nocht Str. 74, 20359 Hamburg, Germany. E-mail: wiemer@ 123456bni-hamburg.de Tel.: +49 40 6947 2840; fax: +49 40 6947 2859
                © 2020, The Authors

                Open Access statement. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes - if any - are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 6, Equations: 0, References: 43, Pages: 9
                Original Research Paper

                tropical epidemiology,travellers,gastrointestinal infection,enteropathogenic bacteria,enteric protozoa,realtime pcr,returnee screening


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