IMPORTED PARASITIC INFECTIONS IN SERBIA

Background:

Travel to the tropics is associated with a risk of parasitic infection, which is increasing in parallel with the rise in travel
to these areas.We thus examined the prevalence and trend in the occurrence of parasitic infections in Serbian travelers. Methods:A retrospective
analysis of the medical records of all travelers returning from tropical and subtropical areas, who presented at the Institute
for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Belgrade between January 2001 and January 2008, was performed. Results: Of a total of 2440
travelers, 169 (6.9%) were diagnosed with a parasitic infection, including malaria in 79, intestinal parasites in 84 (pathogenic species
in 30 and non-pathogenic in 54), filariasis in four, and visceral leishmaniasis and fascioliasis in one patient each. Importantly, of the
whole series only 583 (23.9%) were symptomatic, of which 19.4% were found to be infected with a parasite. The single pathogenic
parasite occurring in asymptomatic patients was Giardia intestinalis. Conclusions: Parasitic infection causing symptomatic disease
among travelers returning from tropical areas to Serbia is not infrequent. In view of the expected increase in travel to the tropics, diagnostic
protocols for tropical parasitic diseases should take these data into account.

Keywords: imported parasitic infections, malaria, intestinal parasites, Serbia, travelers

*Corresponding author: Dr. Olgica Djurković-Djaković; Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade; Dr. Subotića 4,
P.O. Box 102, 11129 Belgrade, Serbia; Phone: +381-11-2685788; Fax: +381-11-2643691; E-mail: olgicadj@imi.bg.ac.rs

Z. Dakić1, A. Nikolić2, L. Lavadinović3, M. Pelemiš3, I. Klun2, O. Dulović3, B. Milošević3,
G. Stevanović3, I. Ofori-Belić1, J. Poluga3, O. Djurković-Djaković2* and M. Pavlović3
1Laboratory for Parasitology, Service of Microbiology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
2Center for Parasitic Zoonoses, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
3Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

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