Imported sexually transmitted infections in Europe

Diogo de Sousa, Dermatology Department, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte, Lisbon, Portugal João Borges-Costa, Dermatology Department, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte; Dermatology Universitary Clinic, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa; Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Lisbon, Portugal

Over the last century, the world experienced the impact of population movements on infectious diseases. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) remain a major public health problem with a significant burden worldwide. Several factors influence the incidence, distribution, and types of STIs, including the increasing travel abroad. Foreign travel is in many ways related to the spread of diseases, and with the increasing affordability of air travel, there is a risk of the rapid globalization of emerging infections. History shows that this phenomenon is not new and Europe has many examples of imported STIs, such as syphilis and Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV). STIs acquired during international travel are more likely resistant to standard antimicrobials, thus helping onward transmission of drug-resistant strains, such as in Neisseria gonorrhea infections. As we move to an era where travel and migration are more accessible than ever before, we are expected to face new challenges when it comes to infectious diseases-and STIs are no different. Because pathogens know no borders, the world needs to move cohesively and swiftly to provide an effective response. Clinical care services must be expanded and strengthened, working in web-based systems to ensure that new pathogens are readily identified and targeted, safeguarding populations’ health.

Palabras clave: Drug resistance. Epidemiology. Immigration. Sexually transmitted diseases. Travel.