Filariasis in Travelers Presenting to the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network

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dc.contributor.author Lipner, Ettie M. en_US
dc.contributor.author Law, Melissa A. en_US
dc.contributor.author Barnett, Elizabeth en_US
dc.contributor.author Keystone, Jay S. en_US
dc.contributor.author von Sonnenburg, Frank en_US
dc.contributor.author Loutan, Louis en_US
dc.contributor.author Prevots, D. Rebecca en_US
dc.contributor.author Klion, Amy D. en_US
dc.contributor.author Nutman, Thomas B. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-09T21:00:18Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-09T21:00:18Z
dc.date.issued 2007-12-26 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Lipner, Ettie M., Melissa A. Law, Elizabeth Barnett, Jay S. Keystone, Frank von Sonnenburg, Louis Loutan, D. Rebecca Prevots, Amy D. Klion, Thomas B. Nutman, . "Filariasis in Travelers Presenting to the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network" PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 1(3):e88. (2007) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1935-2735 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2144/2966
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. As international travel increases, there is rising exposure to many pathogens not traditionally encountered in the resource-rich countries of the world. Filarial infections, a great problem throughout the tropics and subtropics, are relatively rare among travelers even to filaria-endemic regions of the world. The GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, a global network of medicine/travel clinics, was established in 1995 to detect morbidity trends among travelers. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS. We examined data from the GeoSentinel database to determine demographic and travel characteristics associated with filaria acquisition and to understand the differences in clinical presentation between nonendemic visitors and those born in filaria-endemic regions of the world. Filarial infections comprised 0.62% (n = 271) of all medical conditions reported to the GeoSentinel Network from travelers; 37% of patients were diagnosed with Onchocerca volvulus, 25% were infected with Loa loa, and another 25% were diagnosed with Wuchereria bancrofti. Most infections were reported from immigrants and from those immigrants returning to their county of origin (those visiting friends and relatives); the majority of filarial infections were acquired in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the patients who were natives of filaria-nonendemic regions, 70.6% acquired their filarial infection with exposure greater than 1 month. Moreover, nonendemic visitors to filaria-endemic regions were more likely to present to GeoSentinel sites with clinically symptomatic conditions compared with those who had lifelong exposure. SIGNIFICANCE. Codifying the filarial infections presenting to the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network has provided insights into the clinical differences seen among filaria-infected expatriates and those from endemic regions and demonstrated that O. volvulus infection can be acquired with short-term travel. Author Summary As international travel increases, there is rising exposure to many pathogens not traditionally encountered in the resource-rich countries of the world. The GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, a global network of medicine/travel clinics, was established in 1995 to detect morbidity trends among travelers. Filarial infections (parasitic worm infections that cause, among others, onchocerciasis [river blindness], lymphatic filariasis [e.g. elephantiasis, lymphedema, hydrocele] and loiasis [African eyeworm]) comprised 0.62% (n = 271) of the 43,722 medical conditions reported to the GeoSentinel Network between 1995 and 2004. Immigrants from filarial-endemic regions comprised the group most likely to have acquired a filarial infection; sub-Saharan Africa was the region of the world where the majority of filarial infections were acquired. Long-term travel (greater than 1 month) was more likely to be associated with acquisition of one of the filarial infections than shorter-term travel. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Division of Intramural Research; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Institutes of Health and GeoSentinel; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U50/CCU412347) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.title Filariasis in Travelers Presenting to the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000088 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 18160987 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 2154385 en_US

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