Traveller's diarrhoea

Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;5(6):349-60. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(05)70139-0.


Traveller's diarrhoea affects over 50% of travellers to some destinations and can disrupt holidays and business trips. This review examines the main causes and epidemiology of the syndrome, which is associated with poor public health infrastructure and hygiene practices, particularly in warmer climates. Although travellers may be given common sense advice on avoidance of high-risk foods and other measures to prevent traveller's diarrhoea, adherence to such advice is sometimes difficult and the evidence for its effectiveness is contradictory. However, non-antimicrobial means for prevention of traveller's diarrhoea are favoured in most settings. A simple stepwise approach to the management of traveller's diarrhoea includes single doses or 3-day courses of antimicrobials, often self administered. The antibiotics of choice are currently fluoroquinolones or azithromycin, with an emerging role for rifaximin. In the long term, there will be greater benefit and effect on the health of local inhabitants and travellers from improving public health and hygiene standards at tourist destinations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Medication
  • Travel*
  • Vaccines


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vaccines