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Travel-Related Infection in European Travelers, EuroTravNet 2011

Warne, Ben, Weld, Leisa H., Cramer, Jakob P., Field, Vanessa K., Grobusch, Martin P., Caumes, Eric, Jensenius, Mogens, Gautret, Philippe, Schlagenhauf, Patricia, Castelli, Francesco, Lalloo, David ORCID:, Ursing, Johan, Chappuis, François, von Sonnenburg, Frank, López-Vélez, Rogelio, Rapp, Christophe, Smith, Kitty C., Parola, Philippe and Gkrania-Klotsas, Effrossyni (2014) 'Travel-Related Infection in European Travelers, EuroTravNet 2011'. Journal of Travel Medicine, Vol 21, Issue 4, pp. 248-254.

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Limited data exist on infectious diseases imported to various locations in Europe, particularly after travel within the continent.


To investigate travel-related disease relevant to Europe that is potentially preventable through pre-travel intervention, we analyzed the EuroTravNet database of 5,965 ill travelers reported by 16 centers in “Western” Europe in 2011.


There were 54 cases of vaccine-preventable disease, mostly hepatitis A (n = 16), typhoid fever (n = 11), and measles (n = 8); 6 cases (including 3 measles cases) were associated with travel within “Western” Europe. Malaria was the most commonly diagnosed infection (n = 482, 8.1% of all travel-related morbidity). Among patients with malaria, the military most commonly received pre-travel advice (95%), followed by travelers for missionary, volunteer, research, or aid work (81%) but travelers visiting friends and relatives (VFRs) were least likely to receive pre-travel advice (21%). The vast majority (96%) of malaria patients were resident in “Western” Europe, but over half (56%) were born elsewhere. Other significant causes of morbidity, which could be reduced through advice and behavioral change, include Giardia (n = 221, 3.7%), dengue (n = 146, 2.4%), and schistosomiasis (n = 131, 2.2%). Of 206 (3.5%) travelers with exposure in “Western” Europe, 75% were tourists; the highest burden of disease was acute gastrointestinal infection (35% cases). Travel from “Eastern” Europe (n = 132, 2.2%) was largely associated with migration-related travel (53%); among chronic infectious diseases, tuberculosis was frequently diagnosed (n = 20). Travelers VFRs contributed the largest group of malaria patients (46%), but also had the lowest documented rate of pre-travel health advice in this subset (20%). Overall, 44% of nonimmigrant ill travelers did not receive pre-travel advice.


There is a burden of infectious diseases in travelers attending European health centers that is potentially preventable through comprehensive pre-travel advice, chemoprophylaxis, and vaccination. Targeted interventions for high-risk groups such as travelers VFRs and migration-associated travelers are of particular importance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 108 Preventive health services. Preventive medicine. Travel Medicine.
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 680 Tropical diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2015 13:18
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:10


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