Ugeskr Læger 2014;176:V66892
Infectious disease doctors also contract travellers’ diarrhoea
Introduction: Acute infectious diarrhoea is common in travellers. The aim of this study is to examine the incidence of travellers’ diarrhoea in a group of Danish doctors and to identify exposures that may confer protective benefits. Methods: A total of 19 Danish infectious disease doctors, pediatricians and clinical microbiologists received a questionnaire regarding symptoms of infectious diarrhoea after a journey to Myanmar. The association between exposure and outcome was calculated as a relative risk.Results: The occurence of travellers’ diarrhoea was independent of medical specialty and age. Doxycycline prophylaxis was a significant protective factor and high intake of yogurt seemed also to confer protection, albeit not significantly. No protective benefits were found from avoidance of ice cubes, raw salad or the use of hand sanitizer. Self-medication with antibiotics was associated with female sex, high age, previous travel experience, employment in the eastern part of Denmark and medical specialty other than infectious diseases, although not significant.Discussion: Infectious disease doctors have a similar incidence of travellers’ diarrhoea as others. Only a few intended to use common travel advice regarding food and drinks and no effect was shown. The reduced risk conferred by yogurt can be caused by the effect of live probiotics on diarrhoea pathogenesis. The reasons why the use of antibiotics was associated with sex, employment region and medical specialty are unaccounted for and should be interpreted with caution because of lack of statistical significance. Funding: not relevant.Trial registration: not relevant.