Tropical diseases and anaesthesia


      The range of infectious diseases encountered whilst working in resource-limited settings varies enormously depending on where in the world one is working, although the majority of low- and middle-income countries lie within the tropics. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB) and malaria are commonly encountered when working in tropical countries and may have an impact upon anaesthesia, either as a direct result of the condition, or due to interaction with the drugs used in its management. Other infections, such as dengue, are less likely to be encountered in a patient undergoing anaesthesia but may be seen in patients in a high-dependency or intensive-care unit. Furthermore, the chronic effects of some of these diseases may impact upon anaesthesia or have complications that require surgery. It is essential therefore that the anaesthetist working within these populations has an appreciation of the tropical diseases that are endemic, set against the wider backdrop of a resource-limited population where malnutrition, poorly managed non-communicable disease and trauma may all complicate the clinical picture.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • World Health Organization
        World malaria report 2021.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2021
        • Soltanifar D.
        • Carvalho B.
        • Sultan P.
        Perioperative considerations of the patient with malaria.
        Can J Anaesth. 2015; 62: 304-318
      1. WHO guidelines for malaria, 16 February 2021. World Health Organization, Geneva2021
        • Jackson T.
        • Thomas J.
        Tuberculosis: the implications for anaesthesia.
        South Afr J Anaesth Analg. 2013; 19: 301-305
        • Swart A.
        • Harris V.
        Drug interactions with tuberculosis therapy.
        South Afr J Cont Med Ed. 2005; 23: 56-60
        • Prout J.
        • Agarwal B.
        Anaesthesia and critical care for patients with HIV infection.
        Contin Educ Anaesth Crit Care Pain. 2005; 5: 153-156
        • World Health Organization
        Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention testing, treatment, service delivery and monitoring: recommendations for a public health approach.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2021
        • Beeching N.
        • Gill G.
        Tropical Medicine: lecture notes.
        7th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester2014

      Further reading

        • Mabey D.
        • Gill G.
        • Parry E.
        • Weber M.W.
        • Whitty C.J.M.
        Medicine in Africa.
        4th ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge2013