Leptospirosis among hospitalized febrile patients in northern Tanzania.
We enrolled consecutive febrile admissions to two hospitals in Moshi, Tanzania. Confirmed leptospirosis was defined as a ≥ 4-fold increase in microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titer; probable leptospirosis as reciprocal MAT titer ≥ 800; and exposure to pathogenic leptospires as titer ≥ 100. Among 870 patients enrolled in the study, 453 (52.1%) had paired sera available, and 40 (8.8%) of these met the definition for confirmed leptospirosis. Of 832 patients with ≥ 1 serum sample available, 30 (3.6%) had probable leptospirosis and an additional 277 (33.3%) had evidence of exposure to pathogenic leptospires. Among those with leptospirosis the most common clinical diagnoses were malaria in 31 (44.3%) and pneumonia in 18 (25.7%). Leptospirosis was associated with living in a rural area (odds ratio [OR] 3.4, P < 0.001). Among those with confirmed leptospirosis, the predominant reactive serogroups were Mini and Australis. Leptospirosis is a major yet underdiagnosed cause of febrile illness in northern Tanzania, where it appears to be endemic.
Biggs, HM; Bui, DM; Galloway, RL; Stoddard, RA; Shadomy, SV; Morrissey, AB; Bartlett, JA; Onyango, JJ; Maro, VP; Kinabo, GD; Saganda, W; Crump, JA
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