Hand sanitiser cuts risk for traveller's diarrhoea

  • Kuenzli E & al.
  • Travel Med Infect Dis
  • 6 Sep 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • The risk for traveller's diarrhoea (TD) is significantly reduced for international travellers supplied with alcohol-based hand sanitising gel and instructions on when and how to use it.

Why this matters

  • TD causes considerable economic burden and raises the risk for colonisation with extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, contributing to antibiotic resistance.

Study design

  • Researchers in this interventional trial studied the effect of hand sanitising gel on TD and ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae colonisation in travellers to Southeast Asia (N=222; median age, 38 years; 53.2% women).
  • They randomly assigned travellers to a comparator group given standard pretravel health advice or an intervention group given additional information on how to use supplied hand sanitising gel: before eating or after toilet use, with a volume that keeps hands wet for at least 30 seconds.
  • Funding: IVF Hartmann AG.

Key results

  • Intent-to-treat analysis showed a protective effect against TD in the intervention group (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30-0.97; P=.04).
  • There was no effect on incidence of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae colonisation.

Limitations

  • Travellers in both groups used hand sanitiser, significantly reducing the study’s statistical power.
  • Results may not apply to other travel destinations.