1921
Volume 103, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

A 1-year population-based prospective study was launched in Seychelles, a country with one of the highest human incidence of leptospirosis worldwide, to describe the characteristic features of the epidemiology of the disease and highlight the most prominent risk factors. Diagnosis was based on the IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, microscopic agglutination test, and real-time PCR. A standardized questionnaire was administered to 219 patients aged ≥ 13 years consulting for acute febrile illness. The high incidence of leptospirosis in Seychelles was confirmed. The disease was particularly severe, as the case fatality rate was 11.8%. Leptospirosis was positively associated in univariate analysis with socio-professional and clinical variables including gardening/farming, oliguria, jaundice, conjunctivitis, history of hepatitis C virus infection, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and/or biological renal failure. Epidemiological analyses of the questionnaires highlighted a link of the disease with living in houses (versus apartment), the presence of animals around and in houses, gardening, and misuse of personal protective equipment. Multivariate analyses indicated that being a farmer/landscaper and having cattle and cats around the home are the most significant drivers of leptospirosis. Biological features most associated with leptospirosis were thrombocytopenia, leukocytosis, high values for renal function tests, and elevated total bilirubin. We report changes in behavior and exposure compared with data collected on leptospirosis 25 years ago, with indication that healthcare development has lowered case fatality. Continuous health education campaigns are recommended as well as further studies to clarify the epidemiology of human leptospirosis, especially the role of domestic animals.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 24 Mar 2019
  • Accepted : 18 May 2020
  • Published online : 20 Jul 2020
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