Travelers’ diarrhea, antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance
It’s summer season in Europe and likely that you will enjoy a well-deserved holiday soon. A downside of a holiday in a foreign country (yes, there is a downside) can be travelers’ diarrhea (TD). The most common cause of TD worldwide is the bacterial pathogen enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (or ETEC). Getting TD depends on: who you are, where you go, when you travel, where you stay, and what you do. TD is essentially benign and often self-limiting, nevertheless antibiotics are traditionally the main treatment in more severe cases of TD and even used as prophylaxis. At present, treatment of TD by antibiotics is hotly debated due to the increase in antimicrobial resistance.
To cut down unnecessary antibiotic use, one has to figure out the exact reasons why travelers take antibiotics, the researchers argued. Therefore they carried out a prospective study.
Data collection and method
The researches revisited the data of 316 subjects from a previous study who developed travelers' diarrhea. These data were collected by questionnaires and health diaries and included the following variables: antibiotic use, stand-by antibiotic carriage and visits to local healthcare providers. To assess the relationship between these variables – or as phrased above: to identify the exact reasons to take antibiotics – a specific statistical method was used (the multivariable analysis).