Post-Travel Screening of Asymptomatic Long-Term Travelers to the Tropics for Intestinal Parasites Using Molecular Diagnostics

D. Soonawala, L. Lieshout, M.A.M. den Boer, E.C.J. Claas, J.J. Verweij, A. Godkewitsch, M. Ratering, L.G. Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The incidence of asymptomatic travel-related parasitic infection is uncertain. Previous studies did not distinguish new incident infections, from past infections. Regardless of symptoms, we performed multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction on pre- and post-travel stool samples of Dutch long-term travelers to the (sub)tropics. Serological screening for Schistosoma spp. was only performed in travelers to sub-Saharan Africa. In total, 679 travelers were included in the study. The follow-up rate was 82% (556 of 679). Participants' median travel duration was 12 weeks. There was one incident infection with Strongyloides stercoralis; there were none with Entamoeba histolytica, 4 with Cryptosporidium spp. (1%), and 22 with Giardia lamblia (4%). Nine of 146 travelers (6%) seroconverted for Schistosoma spp. Routine screening of stool samples for parasitic infection is not indicated for asymptomatic people, who travel to the (sub)tropics for up to 3 months. Screening for Schistosoma spp. should be offered to travelers with fresh-water contact in endemic regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-839
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume90
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • real-time pcr
  • strongyloides-stercoralis
  • laboratory tests
  • fecal samples
  • netherlands
  • microscopy
  • infection
  • diarrhea
  • protozoa

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