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Sero-epidemiology study of leptospirosis in febrile patients from Terai region of Nepal.

BMC Infect Dis; 17(1): 628, 2017 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28923024


BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a re-emerging zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic strains of bacteria belonging to genus Leptospira whose symptoms can range from mild clinical manifestations to a severe life threatening illness. This disease may be under-recognized in resource poor settings like Nepal where many clinical laboratories lack appropriate equipment, technology and personnel for proper diagnosis. METHODS: We used IgM ELISA to estimate the sero-prevalence of leptospirosis in a group of febrile patients in a western region of Nepal. We also tested for possible co-infection with two other common febrile diseases endemic to Nepal including dengue and typhoid fever. RESULTS: Among samples from 144 febrile patients, 30 (21%) were positive for leptospiral IgM. In univariate analysis, leptospirosis was significantly associated with being of working age (p = 0.019), farming (p = 0.045) and water and animal contact (p = 0.0001). Widal and dengue serological study showed that the majority of leptospirosis infections did not have an alternative diagnosis. CONCLUSION: As indicated by the study, regular surveillance of animal reservoirs in collaboration with veterinary department and inclusion of leptospirosis as a differential diagnosis of febrile illness is thus recommended based on the current findings.