Travel-Related Antimicrobial Resistance: A Systematic Review
There is increasing evidence that human movement facilitates the global spread of resistant bacteria and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes. We systematically reviewed the literature on the impact of travel on the dissemination of AMR. We searched the databases Medline, EMBASE and SCOPUS from database inception until the end of June 2019. Of the 3052 titles identified, 2253 articles passed the initial screening, of which 238 met the inclusion criteria. The studies covered 30,060 drug-resistant isolates from 26 identified bacterial species. Most were enteric, accounting for 65% of the identified species and 92% of all documented isolates. High-income countries were more likely to be recipient nations for AMR originating from middle- and low-income countries. The most common origin of travellers with resistant bacteria was Asia, covering 36% of the total isolates. Betalactams and quinolones were the most documented drug-resistant organisms, accounting for 35% and 31% of the overall drug resistance, respectively. Medical tourism was twice as likely to be associated with multidrug-resistant organisms than general travel. International travel is a vehicle for the transmission of antimicrobial resistance globally. Health systems should identify recent travellers to ensure that adequate precautions are taken.
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