Volume 82, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



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.


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  • Received : 05 May 2009
  • Accepted : 14 Jul 2009

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