Health recommendations for international travel: a review of the evidence base of travel medicine

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2011 Oct;24(5):403-9. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e32834a1aef.


Purpose of review: International travel is increasing, including travel to countries with emerging economies. Travel may pose health risks for the individual and contribute to the global spread of infectious diseases. The specialty of travel medicine is aimed at minimizing health risks associated with international travel. The field has emerged in the past 25 years, and the evidence base supporting its clinical practice is growing. This review will describe the evidence base underlying travel medicine, highlight recently updated travel medicine guidelines, and outline future research priorities.

Recent findings: Recommendations for a number of common vaccines for travelers have been updated recently. More sophisticated detection methods are leading to the identification of a wider spectrum of pathogens associated with travelers' diarrhea, and antibiotic resistance is increasingly being identified. New treatment options for malaria are available, and a fifth Plasmodium species causing disease in humans has been identified.

Summary: An evidence base for the practice of travel medicine is emerging. Expert opinion and consensus guidelines continue to play an important role in supporting clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diarrhea / prevention & control
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Preventive Medicine / methods
  • Travel Medicine / methods*
  • Vaccination