Journal Article

Global Impact of Diarrheal Diseases That Are Sampled by Travelers: The Rest of the Hippopotamus

Richard L. Guerrant, Reinaldo Oria, Oluma Y. Bushen, Peter D. Patrick, Eric Houpt and Aldo A. M. Lima

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue Supplement_8, pages S524-S530
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/432946
Global Impact of Diarrheal Diseases That Are Sampled by Travelers: The Rest of the Hippopotamus

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Travelers who experience diarrhea (i.e., “turista”) are exposed to the same pathogens and illnesses that pose some of the greatest threats to life and development among malnourished children in developing areas around the world, where inadequate water and poor sanitation remain. This article focuses on new findings about the impact, diagnosis, and control of these illnesses and the genetic predispositions of persons who acquire them. Despite the reductions in mortality due to dehydrating diarrhea, the morbidity associated with diarrheal illnesses continues unabated. Furthermore, we increasingly recognize the lasting detrimental effects of enteric infections that occur during early childhood on later physical and cognitive development and, in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, on the absorption of antiretroviral drugs. Genetic predispositions to inflammation and potential protection associated with such alleles as ApoE4, which are not suspected of being involved in diarrhea, remind us of how much we have to learn about the effect and interactions of enteric tropical infectious diseases with regard to our host genome. New diagnostic methods hold promise for improved recognition and, hopefully, control of enteric infections worldwide.

Journal Article.  5473 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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