Travel Med Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 15:102028. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102028. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance is increased by international mobility. We present data about intestinal colonization of travelers departing from a middle-income country.
METHODS: Travelers were recruited from 2015 to 2019, collected an anal stool specimen and answered a questionnaire before and after travel. Enterobacterales isolates were investigated for antimicrobial resistance; extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase production; plasmid-encoded cephalosporinases (pAmpC), plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) and mcr genes by PCR and sequencing; and association with travel related variables.
RESULTS: Among 210 travelers, 26 (12%) carried multidrug-resistant Enterobacterales (MDR-E) and 18 (9%) ESBL-producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) before travel, with an increased prevalence from 1% to 11% over the study years. Acquisition of MDR-E and ESBL-E occurred in 59 (32%) and 43 (22%) travelers, respectively, mostly blaCTX-M-15 carrying Escherichia coli. One traveler acquired one isolate carrying blaOXA-181 gene, and two others, isolates carrying mcr-1. PMQR were detected in 14 isolates of returning travelers. The risk of MDR-E acquisition was higher in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent and after using antimicrobial agents.
CONCLUSION: We describe an increasing pre-travel prevalence of ESBL-E colonization in subjects departing from this middle-income country over time. Travel to known risk areas and use of antimicrobial agents during travel were associated with acquisition of MDR-E. Travel advice is critical to mitigating this risk, as colonization by MDR-E may raise the chances of antimicrobial-resistant infections.