Travellers' diarrhoea (TD) is the most common health problem in international travellers. Besides being bothersome for the individual and a considerable economic burden for the public, TD is also known to be associated with becoming colonized with extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriacea. Despite the high frequency of TD cases, easy and effective preventive measures are lacking. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of using hand gel sanitizer on the incidence of TD and colonization with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
A multicentre randomized intervention trial studying the effect of hand gel sanitizer on the incidence of TD and colonization with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in travellers to Southeast Asia was performed.
The intention to treat analysis showed a reduction in the incidence of WHO TD in the intervention group (OR 0.54 (95% CI 0.30-0.97), p = 0.04). No effect was seen or the incidence of becoming colonized with ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae.
Using hand gel sanitizer might have a protective effect on the occurrence of TD. Based on the current data, education on the proper use appears to play a key role for its effectiveness.