Global leptospirosis disease burden estimates are hampered by the lack of scientifically sound data from countries with probable high endemicity and limited diagnostic capacities. We describe the seroepidemiologic and clinical characteristics of the leptospirosis outbreak in 2008 in Sri Lanka. Definitive/presumptive case definitions proposed by the World Health Organization Leptospirosis Epidemiology Reference Group were used for case confirmation. Of the 404 possible cases, 155 were confirmed to have leptospirosis. Highest titers of patient seum samples reacted with serovars Pyrogenes (28.7%), Hardjo (18.8%), Javanica (11.5%), and Hebdomadis (11.5%). Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal DNA gene identified six infections: five with Leptospira interrogans and one with L. weilli. In this patient population, acute renal failure was the main complication (14.8%), followed by myocarditis (7.1%) and heart failure (3.9%). The case-fatality rate was 1.3%. This report strengthens the urgent need for increasing laboratory diagnostic capabilities to determine the causes of epidemic and endemic infectious diseases in Sri Lanka, a finding relevant to other tropical regions.
Leptospirosis is re-emerging in developed countries as a travel-related infection. In this nationwide study of travel-related leptospirosis in Israel, all cases diagnosed at the Central Reference Laboratory for Leptospirosis, during 2002–2008 were retrospectively reviewed and only travel-related cases were included. During the study years, 20 (42%) of 48 leptospirosis cases in Israel were travel-related. Exposure occurred in Southeast Asia in 15 (75%) of 20 cases. The estimated yearly incidence of travel-related leptospirosis was 1.78/100,000 travelers compared with an incidence of endemic cases of 0.06/100,000 inhabitants (risk ratio = 29.6, 95% confidence interval = 16.7–52.4). Most patients (89%) were infected during water-related activities. Severe disease was present in 10 (55%) of 18 patients; 7 of them were presumptively infected with the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup. Thus, travel-related leptospirosis is becoming increasingly important in the epidemiology of leptospirosis in Israel. Leptospirosis should be suspected in any traveler with undifferentiated febrile illness, especially when water exposure is reported.
Epidemiologic trends of human leptospirosis in Germany were investigated by analyzing national surveillance data from 1962 to 2003 and by conducting a questionnaire-based survey from 1997 to 2000. After a steady decrease of leptospirosis incidence from 1962 to 1997, surveillance data indicate an increase in disease incidence to 0.06 per 100,000 (1998–2003). Of 102 laboratory-confirmed cases in humans from 1997 to 2000, 30% were related to occupational exposures. Recreational exposures were reported in 30% (including traveling abroad in 16%), whereas residential exposure accounted for 37% of the cases. Direct contact with animals, mostly rats and dogs, was observed in 31% of the cases. We conclude that recent changes in transmission patterns of leptospirosis, partially caused by an expanding rat population and the resurgence of canine leptospirosis, may facilitate the spread of the disease in temperate countries like Germany. Preventive measures should be adapted to the changing epidemiology of leptospirosis.
leptospirosis; Leptospira interrogans; vector-borne diseases; epidemiology; developed countries; Germany
In the last decade, leptospirosis has emerged as a globally important infectious disease. Humans most commonly become infected through occupational, recreational, or domestic contact with the urine of carrier animals, either directly or through contaminated water or soil. The disease occurs in urban areas of industrialized and developing countries as well as rural regions worldwide. We present a retrospective study conducted in 2006 on 2,269 randomly selected Reunion Island inhabitants. Blood sampling was performed on individual blotting papers, and microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was conducted on paper disc-absorbed (PDA) blood. We showed that seroprevalence of leptospirosis was 0.66% ± 0.34 in the global population of Reunion Island, which is 1.78 lower than the seroprevalence estimated 20 years before. The serological method is described, and the results discussion focuses on methodology and socio-economic factors.
The incidence of leptospirosis, a neglected zoonotic disease, is uncertain in Tanzania and much of sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in scarce data on which to prioritize resources for public health interventions and disease control. In this study, we estimate the incidence of leptospirosis in two districts in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania.
We conducted a population-based household health care utilization survey in two districts in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania and identified leptospirosis cases at two hospital-based fever sentinel surveillance sites in the Kilimanjaro Region. We used multipliers derived from the health care utilization survey and case numbers from hospital-based surveillance to calculate the incidence of leptospirosis. A total of 810 households were enrolled in the health care utilization survey and multipliers were derived based on responses to questions about health care seeking in the event of febrile illness. Of patients enrolled in fever surveillance over a 1 year period and residing in the 2 districts, 42 (7.14%) of 588 met the case definition for confirmed or probable leptospirosis. After applying multipliers to account for hospital selection, test sensitivity, and study enrollment, we estimated the overall incidence of leptospirosis ranges from 75–102 cases per 100,000 persons annually.
We calculated a high incidence of leptospirosis in two districts in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, where leptospirosis incidence was previously unknown. Multiplier methods, such as used in this study, may be a feasible method of improving availability of incidence estimates for neglected diseases, such as leptospirosis, in resource constrained settings.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic infection that occurs worldwide and is caused by a spirochete, Leptospira spp. The incidence of leptospirosis is unknown in most of sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania. Incidence estimates are important in prioritizing resources for disease prevention and control. In this study, we calculated leptospirosis incidence in 2 districts in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania using a multiplier method. We used responses from a population-based survey that asked where participants and their household members would seek health care in the event of fever along with the number of leptospirosis cases found at 2 hospitals under surveillance to calculate estimated incidence. We calculated a high incidence of leptospirosis in the study area that was previously unrecognized. This has important implications for prioritizing further research and consideration of public health control measures for leptospirosis in Tanzania.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic spirochetal disease of global importance. This disease continues to have a major impact on people living in urban and rural areas of developing countries with inestimable morbidity and mortality. Funding for research and control efforts is currently haphazard, not organized and not effective for public health efforts, primarily because there are no concerted, ongoing international efforts to assess the impact of leptospirosis on human health. Major issues in the field need to be addressed to develop strategies of control, amelioration and treatment. These include the following: mechanisms of naturally acquired and vaccine-induced protective immunity against clinical leptospirosis; mechanisms of severe leptospirosis pathogenesis; standardized, precise and simplified taxonomy of Leptospira relevant to disease manifestations, transmission and control; effective adjunct treatments in addition to antimicrobials; and environmental assessment for risk of leptospirosis transmission and relevant mammalian reservoirs. Once effective ongoing, collaborative international efforts to assess the impact of leptospirosis on human and veterinary health are underway, appropriate mobilization of clinical and public health research funding will follow.
Epidemiology; Disease burden; Vaccine; Taxonomy; Pathogenesis
To increase knowledge of leptospirosis in the Netherlands and identify changing trends of this disease over time, we analyzed historical passive surveillance reports for an 84-year period (1925–2008). We found that 2,553 mainly severe leptospirosis cases were diagnosed (average annual incidence rate 0.25 cases/100,000 population). The overall case-fatality rate for patients with reported leptospirosis was 6.5% but decreased over the period, probably because of improved treatment. Ninety percent of reported leptospirosis cases were in male patients. Most autochthonous leptospirosis infections were associated with recreational exposures, but 15.5% of the cases were attributed to accidents that resulted in injury and to concomitant water contact. Since the end of the 1950s, the proportion of imported infections gradually increased, reaching 53.1% of the total during 2005–2008. Most (80.1%) imported infections were associated with sporting and adventurous vacation activities.
human leptospirosis; Leptospira spp.; bacteria; epidemiology; epidemiologic trends; diagnosis; travelers; passive serologic surveillance; sex; accidents; recreational activities; zoonoses; the Netherlands
Although infrequently diagnosed in the United States, leptospirosis is a notable reemerging infectious disease throughout developing countries. Until 1995, when the disease was eliminated from the US list of nationally notifiable diseases, Hawaii led the nation in reported annual incidence rates. Leptospirosis remains a notifiable disease in Hawaii. To ascertain the status of leptospirosis in Hawaii since the most recent US report in 2002, we reviewed 1999–2008 data obtained from case investigation reports by the Hawaii State Department of Health. Of the 345 case reports related to in-state exposures, 198 (57%) were laboratory confirmed. Our findings indicate a change in seasonal disease occurrence from summer to winter and in the infective serogroup from Icterohemorrhagiae to Australis. Also, during the past 20 years, recreational exposures have plateaued, while occupational exposures have increased. Ongoing surveillance is needed to clarify and track the dynamic epidemiology of this widespread zoonosis.
leptospirosis; zoonoses; Hawaii; epidemiology; surveillance; bacteria; research
Dengue is an emerging vectorborne infectious disease that is a major public health concern in the Asia Pacific region. Official dengue surveillance data for 2010 provided by ministries of health were summarized as part of routine activities of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Based on reported data, dengue has continued to show an increasing trend in the Western Pacific Region. In 2010, countries and areas reported a total of 353 907 dengue cases, of which 1073 died, for a case fatality ratio of 0.30%. More than 1000 cases were reported each from Australia (North Queensland), Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam. With the exception of Australia, the number of reported cases in 2010 was greater than that reported in 2009 for these countries. The elevated number of cases reported in 2010 in some countries, such as the Philippines, is likely due to several factors, such as enhanced reporting and continued epidemic activity. However, increases in reported number of cases in other areas, such as Singapore and Malaysia, appear to indicate sustained epidemic activity in those countries. The continued epidemic dengue activity in the Region highlights the need for timely and routine regional sharing of information.
The purpose of this paper was to examine and compare available data on incidence, mortality and survival for countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Incidence data were obtained from GLOBOCAN 2008, other online data sources and individual cancer registries. Country-specific mortality statistics by individual year were sourced from the World Health Organization Statistical Information System Mortality Database. All incidence and mortality rates were directly age-standardised to the Segi World Standard population and joinpoint models were used to assess trends. Data on survival were obtained from country-specific published reports where available. Approximately 14% (122,000) of all prostate cancers diagnosed worldwide in 2008 were within the Asia-Pacific region (10 per 100,000 population), with three out of every four of these prostate cancer cases diagnosed in either Japan (32%), China (28%) or Australia (15%). There were also about 42,000 deaths due to prostate cancer in the Asia-Pacific region (3 per 100,000). For the nine countries with incidence trend data available, eight showed recent significant increases in prostate cancer incidence. In contrast, recent decreases in prostate cancer mortality have been reported for Australia, Japan and New Zealand, but mortality has increased in several other countries. The lack of population-based data across most of the countries in this region limits the ability of researchers to understand and report on the patterns and distribution of this important cancer. Governments and health planners typically require quantitative evidence as a motivation for change. Unless there is a widespread commitment to improve the collection and reporting of data on prostate cancer it is likely that the burden of prostate cancer will continue to increase. Enhancing knowledge transfer between countries where there are differentials in capacity, policy and experience may provide the necessary impetus and opportunity to overcome at least some of the existing barriers.
Prostate neoplasms; Asia-Pacific; Incidence; Mortality; Prostate specific antigen
Leptospirosis is a global zoonotic disease. Although important for the assessment of the burden of leptospirosis, data on the duration of the illness and the occurrence of post-leptospirosis complaints are not well documented. Hence the main objective of this study was to estimate the occurrence of persistent complaints and duration of hospital stay in laboratory confirmed leptospirosis patients in the Netherlands during 1985 to 2010. Additionally, several risk factors potentially impacting on the occurrence of post-leptospirosis complaints were investigated.
The duration of the acute phase of leptospirosis was 16 days (IQR 12–23); 10 days (IQR 7–16) were spent hospitalized. Eighteen fatal cases were excluded from this analysis. Complaints of leptospirosis patients by passive case investigations (CPC) derived from files on ambulant consultations occurring one month after hospital discharge, revealed persistent complaints in 108 of 236 (45.8%) laboratory confirmed cases. Data on persistent complaints after acute leptospirosis (PCAC), assessed in 225 laboratory confirmed leptospirosis cases collected through questionnaires during 1985-1993, indicated 68 (30.2%) PCAC cases. Frequently reported complaints included (extreme) fatigue, myalgia, malaise, headache, and a weak physical condition. These complaints prolonged in 21.1% of the cases beyond 24 months after onset of disease. There was no association between post-leptospirosis complaints and hospitalization. However, individuals admitted at the intensive care unit (ICU) were twice as likely to have continuing complaints after discharge adjusting for age and dialysis (OR 2.0 95% CI 0.8-4.8). No significant association could be found between prolongation of complaints and infecting serogroup, although subgroup analysis suggest that infection with serogroups Sejroe (OR 4.8, 95%CI 0.9-27.0) and icterohaemorrhagiae (OR 2.0, 95%CI 0.9-4.3 CI) are more likely to result in CPC than infections with serogroup Grippotyphosa.
In addition to the acute disease, persistent complaints have an impact on the burden of leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis, a spirochaetal zoonotic disease, is the cause of epidemics associated with high mortality in urban slum communities. Infection with pathogenic Leptospira occurs during environmental exposures and is traditionally associated with occupational risk activities. However, slum inhabitants reside in close proximity to environmental sources of contamination, suggesting that transmission during urban epidemics occurs in the household environment.
Methods and Findings
A survey was performed to determine whether Leptospira infection clustered within households located in slum communities in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Hospital-based surveillance identified 89 confirmed cases of leptospirosis during an outbreak. Serum samples were obtained from members of 22 households with index cases of leptospirosis and 52 control households located in the same slum communities. The presence of anti-Leptospira agglutinating antibodies was used as a marker for previous infection. In households with index cases, 22 (30%) of 74 members had anti-Leptospira antibodies, whereas 16 (8%) of 195 members from control households had anti-Leptospira antibodies. Highest titres were directed against L. interrogans serovars of the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup in 95% and 100% of the subjects with agglutinating antibodies from case and control households, respectively. Residence in a household with an index case of leptospirosis was associated with increased risk (OR 5.29, 95% CI 2.13–13.12) of having had a Leptospira infection. Increased infection risk was found for all age groups who resided in a household with an index case, including children <15 years of age (P = 0.008).
This study identified significant household clustering of Leptospira infection in slum communities where recurrent epidemics of leptospirosis occur. The findings support the hypothesis that the household environment is an important transmission determinant in the urban slum setting. Prevention therefore needs to target sources of contamination and risk activities which occur in the places where slum inhabitants reside.
Leptospirosis has emerged to become an urban slum health problem. Epidemics of severe leptospirosis, characterized by jaundice, acute renal failure and haemorrhage, are now reported in cities throughout the developing world due to rapid expansion of slum settlements, which in turn has produced the ecological conditions for rodent-borne transmission of the spirochete pathogen. A survey was performed in the city of Salvador, Brazil, to determine whether the risk of Leptospira infection clustered in households within slum communities in which a member had developed severe leptospirosis. We found that members of households with an index case of leptospirosis had more than five times the risk of having serologic evidence for a prior infection than members of neighbourhood households in the same communities. Increased risk of infection was found among all age groups who resided in these households. The finding that Leptospira infection clusters in specific slum households indicates that the factors associated with this environment are important determinants for transmission. Further research is needed to identify the sources of contamination and risk exposures which occur in the places where slum inhabitants reside such that effective community-based prevention of urban leptospirosis can be implemented.
Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic infection that primarily affects residents of tropical regions, but causes infections in animals and humans in temperate regions as well. The agents of leptospirosis comprise several members of the genus Leptospira, which also includes non-pathogenic, saprophytic species. Leptospirosis can vary in severity from a mild, non-specific illness to severe disease that includes multi-organ failure and widespread endothelial damage and hemorrhage. To begin to investigate how pathogenic leptospires affect endothelial cells, we compared the responses of two endothelial cell lines to infection by pathogenic versus non-pathogenic leptospires. Microarray analyses suggested that pathogenic L. interrogans and non-pathogenic L. biflexa triggered changes in expression of genes whose products are involved in cellular architecture and interactions with the matrix, but that the changes were in opposite directions, with infection by L. biflexa primarily predicted to increase or maintain cell layer integrity, while L. interrogans lead primarily to changes predicted to disrupt cell layer integrity. Neither bacterial strain caused necrosis or apoptosis of the cells even after prolonged incubation. The pathogenic L. interrogans, however, did result in significant disruption of endothelial cell layers as assessed by microscopy and the ability of the bacteria to cross the cell layers. This disruption of endothelial layer integrity was abrogated by addition of the endothelial protective drug lisinopril at physiologically relevant concentrations. These results suggest that, through adhesion of L. interrogans to endothelial cells, the bacteria may disrupt endothelial barrier function, promoting dissemination of the bacteria and contributing to severe disease manifestations. In addition, supplementing antibiotic therapy with lisinopril or derivatives with endothelial protective activities may decrease the severity of leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic infection that primarily affects residents of tropical regions, but is seen occasionally in temperate regions as well. Leptospirosis can vary in severity from a mild, non-specific illness to severe disease that includes multi-organ failure and widespread endothelial damage and hemorrhage. To investigate how pathogenic leptospires affect endothelial cells, we compared the responses of two endothelial cell lines to infection by pathogenic versus non-pathogenic leptospires. Our analyses suggested that pathogenic L. interrogans and non-pathogenic L. biflexa caused changes in expression of genes whose products are involved in cellular architecture and interactions with the matrix, but that the changes were in opposite directions, with infection by L. biflexa primarily maintaining cell layer integrity, while L. interrogans disrupted cell layers. In fact, L. interrogans caused significant disruption of endothelial cell layers, but this damage could be abrogated by the endothelial protective drug lisinopril. Our results suggest that L. interrogans binds to endothelial cells and disrupts endothelial barrier function, which may promote dissemination of the bacteria and contribute to severe disease manifestations. This disruption may be slowed by endothelial-protective drugs to decrease damage in leptospirosis.
Physical activity (PA) surveillance is an important component of non-communicable disease risk factor monitoring, and occurs through national and international surveillance systems. This review identifies population PA estimates for adults in the Asia-Pacific region, and examines variation in trends and prevalence rates obtained using different PA measures.
Data were obtained from a MEDLINE search; World Health Organization's Global Health Infobase; Government websites and reference lists of relevant papers. Inclusion criteria included: national studies or those reporting large scale population-level data; data published from 2000 to 2010 and trend data prior; sample sizes over n = 1000, or fewer subjects in small nations.
In total, 56 population surveys from 29 Asia-Pacific countries were identified. Data on 'sufficient physical activity' amongst adults were available from 45 studies (80%), with estimates ranging from 7% to 93% (median 62%, inter-quartile range 40%-85%). For 14 countries, estimates of 'sufficient activity' were documented in multiple surveys using different methods, with the largest variation from 18% to 92% in Nepal. Median or mean MET-minutes/day, reported in 20 studies, ranged from 6 to 1356. Serial trend data were available for 11 countries (22%), for periods spanning 2-10 years. Of these, five countries demonstrated increases in physical activity over time, four demonstrated decreases and three showed no changes.
Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region collect population-level PA data. This review highlights differences in estimates within and between countries. Some differences may be real, others due to variation in the PA questions asked and survey methods used. Use of standardized protocols and measures, and combined reporting of data are essential goals of improved international PA surveillance.
Molecular epidemiologic analysis shows that travelers returning from Asia are the greatest source of risk.
To assess risk for importation of dengue virus (DENV) into Queensland, Australia, and sources of imported viruses, we sequenced the envelope region of DENV isolates from symptomatic patients with a history of travel during 2002–2010. The number of imported dengue cases greatly increased over the surveillance period, some of which were associated with domestic outbreaks. Patients reported traveling to (in order) Asia, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Island countries, and non–Asia-Pacific countries. By using phylogenetic methods, we assigned DENV isolates from returning residents and overseas visitors with viremia to a specific genotypic group. Genotypes circulating in Asia were extremely diverse. Genotyping and molecular clock analysis supported Asian origination of a strain that caused an outbreak of DENV-4 in Pacific Island countries during 2007–2009, and subsequently, in Innisfail, Australia, in 2009. Our findings indicate that Asia is a major source of DENVs that are imported into Australia, causing a risk for epidemics.
dengue; dengue virus; phylogenetics; importation; outbreak; Queensland; Australia; viruses
Leptospirosis is an epidemic-prone zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide. In Central America, leptospirosis outbreaks have been reported in almost all countries; Nicaragua in particular has faced several outbreaks. The objective of this study was to stratify the risk and identify “critical areas” for leptospirosis outbreaks in Nicaragua, and to perform an exploratory analysis of potential “drivers”. This ecological study includes the entire country (153 municipalities). Cases from 2004 to 2010 were obtained from the country’s health information system, demographic and socioeconomic variables from its Census, and environmental data from external sources. Criteria for risk stratification of leptospirosis were defined. Nicaragua reported 1,980 cases of leptospirosis during this period, with the highest percentage of cases (26.36%) in León, followed by Chinandega (15.35%). Among the 153 municipalities, 48 were considered critical areas, 85 were endemic and 20 silent. Using spatial and statistical analysis, the variable presenting the most evident pattern of association with critical areas defined by top quintile of incidence rate is the percentage of municipal surface occupied by the soil combination of cambisol (over pyroclastic and lava bedrock) and andosol (over a volcanic ashes foundation). Precipitation and percentage of rural population are also associated with critical areas. This methodology and findings could be used for Nicaragua’s Leptospirosis Intersectoral Plan, and to identify possible risk areas in other countries with similar drivers.
leptospirosis; risk; outbreaks; Nicaragua; Central America
Leptospirosis, caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira, has increasingly been recognized to affect travelers and residents in tropical settings. A zoonotic disease, leptospirosis is transmitted to humans through environmental surface waters contaminated by the urine of chronically infected mammals. Outcome of infection varies, ranging from acute febrile illness (including self-resolving undifferentiated fever) to aseptic meningitis to a fulminant syndrome of jaundice, oliguric renal failure, pulmonary hemorrhage, and refractory shock. Hospitalized cases have mortality rates as high as 25%. A recent clinical trial showed that third-generation cephalosporin is as effective as doxycycline and penicillin in the treatment of acute disease. Doxycycline is effective in preventing leptospirosis in travelers. No protective vaccine is currently available.
Leptospirosis is becoming a major public health threat in Sri Lanka as well as in other countries. We designed a case control study to determine the factors associated with local transmission of leptospirosis in Sri Lanka, in order to identify major modifiable determinants of leptospirosis. The purpose of this paper is to describe the study protocol in detail prior to the publishing of the study results, so that the readership will be able to understand and interpret the study results effectively.
A hospital based partially matched case control design is proposed. The study will be conducted in three selected leptospirosis endemic districts in central Sri Lanka. Case selection will include screening all acute fever patients admitted to selected wards to select probable cases of leptospirosis and case confirmation using an array of standard laboratory criteria. Age and sex matched group of acute fever patients with other confirmed diagnosis will be used as controls. Case to control ratio will be 1:2. A minimum sample of 144 cases is required to detect 20% exposure with 95% two sided confidence level and 80% power. A pre tested interviewer administered structured questionnaire will be used to collect data from participants. Variables included in the proposed study will be evaluated using conceptual hierarch of variables in three levels; Exposure variables as proximal; reservoir and environmental variables as intermediate; socio-demographic variables as distal. This conceptual hierarch hypothesised that the distal and intermediate variables are mediated through the proximal variables but not directly. A logistic regression model will be used to analyse the probable determinants of leptospirosis. This model will evaluate the effect of same level and upper level variables on the outcome leptospirosis, using three blocks.
The present national control programme of leptospirosis is hampered by lack of baseline data on leptospirosis disease transmission. The present study will be able to provide these essential information for formulation of better control strategies.
Asbestos is a recognized occupational and environmental hazard in the Asia-Pacific Region, yet information regarding asbestos consumption, exposure and asbestos-related diseases in the US affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPIs) is scarce and the situation regarding asbestos in these islands, particularly with regards to disease burden, surveillance and health care capacity, is not well understood. Searching through scientific and “grey” literature and interviews with local cancer registry personnel and health professionals yielded no published data but sufficient indirect evidence of past and ongoing asbestos exposure, documented cases of mesothelioma and asbestosis, and minimal capacity for preventing and recognizing asbestos-related illnesses. The relatively low levels of capacity and resources within the USAPIs can impede regional progress in asbestos prevention and highlight the need for an integrated regional approach to address these data and capacity gaps. A regional mechanism to share expertise and resources and facilitate technical assistance to the USAPIs is urgently needed.
asbestos; mesothelioma; Pacific Islands; Micronesia; Guam; Palau
Severe leptospirosis requires critical care and has a high mortality. We reviewed the literature to identify factors predicting mortality, and such predictors were classified according to the predisposition, infection, response, organ dysfunction (PIRO) concept, which is a risk stratification model used in severe sepsis.
Material and Methods:
PUBMED was searched for all articles (English), with the key word leptospirosis in any field, within the last 20 years. Data were collected from 45 relevant papers and grouped into each component of the PIRO model.
The following correlated with increased mortality: predisposition – increasing age and chronic alcoholism; infection - leptospiraemic burden; response - hemodynamic disturbances, leukocytosis; organ dysfunction – multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, pulmonary involvement and acute renal failure.
Further research is needed to identify the role of infecting serovars, clinical signs, inflammatory markers, cytokines and evidence of hepatic dysfunction as prognostic indicators. It is hoped that this paper will be an initiative to create a staging system for severity of leptospirosis based on the PIRO model with an added component for treatment-related predictors.
Leptospirosis; mortality; severity
Many of the countries in the Asia Pacific Region, particularly those with depressed and developing economies, are just initiating newborn screening programs for selected metabolic and other congenital disorders. The cultural, geographic, language, and economic differences that exist throughout the region add to the challenges of developing sustainable newborn screening systems. There are currently more developing programs than developed programs within the region. Newborn screening activities in the Asia Pacific Region are particularly important since births there account for approximately half of the world’s births. To date, there have been two workshops to facilitate formation of the Asia Pacific Newborn Screening Collaboratives. The 1st Workshop on Consolidating Newborn Screening Efforts in the Asia Pacific Region occurred in Cebu, Philippines, on March 30–April 1, 2008, as a satellite meeting to the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Human Genetics. The second workshop was held on June 4–5, 2010, in Manila, Philippines. Workshop participants included key policy-makers, service providers, researchers, and consumer advocates from 11 countries with 50% or less newborn screening coverage. Expert lectures included experiences in the United States and the Netherlands, international quality assurance activities and ongoing and potential research activities. Additional meeting support was provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. National Newborn Screening and Genetics Resource Center, the International Society for Neonatal Screening, and the March of Dimes. As part of both meeting activities, participants shared individual experiences in program implementation with formal updates of screening information for each country. This report reviews the activities and country reports from two Workshops on Consolidating Newborn Screening Efforts in the Asia Pacific Region with emphasis on the second workshop. It also updates the literature on screening activities and implementation/expansion challenges in the participating countries.
Newborn screening; Asia Pacific; Cebu Declaration; Manila Declaration
The recent emergence of leptospirosis has been linked to many environmental drivers of disease transmission. Accurate epidemiological data are lacking because of under-diagnosis, poor laboratory capacity, and inadequate surveillance. Predictive risk maps have been produced for many diseases to identify high-risk areas for infection and guide allocation of public health resources, and are particularly useful where disease surveillance is poor. To date, no predictive risk maps have been produced for leptospirosis. The objectives of this study were to estimate leptospirosis seroprevalence at geographic locations based on environmental factors, produce a predictive disease risk map for American Samoa, and assess the accuracy of the maps in predicting infection risk.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Data on seroprevalence and risk factors were obtained from a recent study of leptospirosis in American Samoa. Data on environmental variables were obtained from local sources, and included rainfall, altitude, vegetation, soil type, and location of backyard piggeries. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to investigate associations between seropositivity and risk factors. Using the multivariable models, seroprevalence at geographic locations was predicted based on environmental variables. Goodness of fit of models was measured using area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic, and the percentage of cases correctly classified as seropositive. Environmental predictors of seroprevalence included living below median altitude of a village, in agricultural areas, on clay soil, and higher density of piggeries above the house. Models had acceptable goodness of fit, and correctly classified ∼84% of cases.
Conclusions and Significance
Environmental variables could be used to identify high-risk areas for leptospirosis. Environmental monitoring could potentially be a valuable strategy for leptospirosis control, and allow us to move from disease surveillance to environmental health hazard surveillance as a more cost-effective tool for directing public health interventions.
Leptospirosis is the most common bacterial infection transmitted from animals to humans. Infected animals excrete the bacteria in their urine, and humans can become infected through contact with animals or a contaminated environment such as water and soil. Environmental factors are important in determining the risk of human infection, and differ between ecological settings. The wide range of risk factors include high rainfall and flooding; poor sanitation and hygiene; urbanisation and overcrowding; contact with animals (including rodents, livestock, pets, and wildlife); outdoor recreation and ecotourism; and environmental degradation. Predictive risk maps have been produced for many infectious diseases to identify high-risk areas for transmission and guide allocation of public health resources. Maps are particularly useful where disease surveillance and epidemiological data are poor. The objectives of this study were to estimate leptospirosis seroprevalence at geographic locations based on environmental factors, produce a predictive disease risk map for American Samoa, and assess the accuracy of the maps in predicting infection risk. This study demonstrated the value of geographic information systems and disease mapping for identifying environmental risk factors for leptospirosis, and enhancing our understanding of disease transmission. Similar principles could be used to investigate the epidemiology of leptospirosis in other areas.
Leptospirosis is a zoonosis usually transmitted through contact with water or soil contaminated with urine from infected animals. Severe flooding can put individuals at greater risk for contracting leptospirosis in endemic areas. Rapid testing for the disease and large-scale interventions are necessary to identify and control infection. We describe a leptospirosis outbreak following severe flooding and a mass chemoprophylaxis campaign in Guyana.
From January–March 2005, we collected data on suspected leptospirosis hospitalizations and deaths. Laboratory testing included anti-leptospiral dot enzyme immunoassay (DST), immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining, and microscopic agglutination testing (MAT). DST testing was conducted for 105 (44%) of 236 patients; 52 (50%) tested positive. Four (57%) paired serum samples tested by MAT were confirmed leptospirosis. Of 34 total deaths attributed to leptospirosis, postmortem samples from 10 (83%) of 12 patients were positive by IHC. Of 201 patients interviewed, 89% reported direct contact with flood waters. A 3-week doxycycline chemoprophylaxis campaign reached over 280,000 people.
A confirmed leptospirosis outbreak in Guyana occurred after severe flooding, resulting in a massive chemoprophylaxis campaign to try to limit morbidity and mortality.
Leptospirosis is a global zoonotic disease with a variety of clinical manifestations. We report an outbreak of leptospirosis in the Yaeyama Islands, Japan, in the summer of 1999 associated with heavy rainfall. Fourteen people were diagnosed with leptospirosis and required hospitalization. All cases were found to have exposure to contaminated soil or water. A history of recreational activities involving water sports was more frequent (71%) than occupational risk factors related to agriculture or construction (29%). Fever was the primary symptom in all cases, followed by chills (93%), headache (86%), myalgias (57%) and conjunctival suffusion (57%). All cases were successfully treated with antimicrobial therapy except one patient who improved spontaneously. Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions were seen in six cases (43%). The increasing incidence of leptospirosis related to recreational sports is an important public health problem in resort areas. A high-index of suspicion, early treatment, and prevention are crucial in this latently endemic area.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease prevalent mainly in developing countries and is associated with high case fatality. Antibiotics especially penicillin are the mainstay of treatment for a suspected or confirm case of leptospirosis but role of Penicillin has not been evaluated systematically in the light of current evidence. The present systematic review and meta-analysis is done to evaluate the role of antibiotics in the treatment of leptospirosis. Parallel group clinical trials involving use of penicillin in treatment of leptospirosis were searched from all available sources. Ten clinical trials were found suitable as per laid inclusion criteria eligible for present systematic review and five clinical trials were included in meta-analysis. Clinical trials included for meta-analysis were compared on the basis of mortality, fever days, numbers of patients presenting with oliguria, and number of patients undergoing need-based dialysis. Analysis was done by comprehensive meta-analysis software 2. Qualitative outcomes are summarized as odds ratio and quantitative outcomes are summarized as standard mean difference with 95% confidence interval. Random and fixed models are used for analysis. There was no significant difference between penicillin group and controlled group for mortality (Odds ratio 1.59 (95% CI 0.59-4.29), P = 0.35), fever days (std difference in mean = −0.223 (95% CI 0.394-0.995), P = 0.358), number of patients presenting with oliguria (Odds ratio 1.795 (95% CI 0.325-9.929), P = 0.502), and number of patients who underwent need based dialysis (Odds ratio 1.587 (95% CI 0.919-2.731), P = 0.098). Role of various antibiotics in treatment of leptospirosis is uncertain, and can be attributed to nonavailability of adequate clinical trials. Role of penicillin in the treatment of leptospirosis can be debated.
Antibiotics; doxycycline; leptospirosis; penicillin; weils disease