Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
Staying in a hotel or private accommodation has been associated with carrying drug-resistant bacteria in travelers to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), according to research presented at the 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID; 13–16 April, Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
The researchers collected stool samples from participants before and after travel outside Germany, with travellers also completing a questionnaire on risk factors including the countries visited, length of stay, type of residence, healthcare used, diet, antibiotic use and hygiene.
The study of 230 individuals from Germany reported that around one in five travellers (23%; 53/230) contracted ESBL-producing bacteria during their trip abroad. In addition, the team discovered that travellers who mainly stayed in a hotel or private accommodation had a four-times higher risk of returning home with ESBL-producing bacteria present in their gut, compared with travellers who stayed in alternative accommodation types.
The study also highlights the travellers aged 24–30 years were found to be at increased risk, compared with other age groups. The authors state this is the first report to link staying in a hotel as a risk factor for colonization.
Lynn Meurs from the Robert Koch-Institute (Berlin, Germany), commented: “Previous studies had already reported this for staying in a private accommodation, but it was unexpected that hotel might also be a risk factor. Colonization in itself does not lead to any health problems,”