Travelers' diarrhea in Mexico. A prospective study of physicians and family members attending a congress

N Engl J Med. 1976 Jun 10;294(24):1299-305. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197606102942401.


We conducted a prospective study of travelers' diarrhea on 73 physicians and 48 family members attending a medical congress in Mexico City, in October, 1974. Fecal and blood specimens were collected before, during and after their visit and examined for enteric bacterial pathogens, viruses and parasites. In 59 (49 per cent) participants travelers' diarrhea developed. Median duration of illness was five days. Onset occurred a median of six days after arrival. An etiologic agent was found in 63 per cent of ill participants. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli of different, non-"enteropathogenic" serotypes was the most common cause; other responsible pathogens included salmonellae, invasive Esch. coli., shigellae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Giardia lamblia and the human reovirus-like agent. Consumption of salads containing raw vegetables was associated with enterotoxigenic Esch. coli infection (P = 0.014). Travelers' diarrhea in Mexico is a syndrome caused by a variety of pathogens, the most common of which is enterotoxigenic Esch. col.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli / classification
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Food Microbiology
  • Giardia / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Prospective Studies
  • Salmonella / isolation & purification
  • Serotyping
  • Shigella / isolation & purification
  • Travel*
  • United States
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus / isolation & purification
  • Water Microbiology