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Human leptospirosis, in Ethiopia: a pilot study in Wonji

Eshetu Yimer, Simone Koopman, Tsehaynesh Messele, Dawit Wolday, Bethelehem Newayeselassie, Neway Gessese, Belachew Degefe, Eduard J Sanders

Abstract


Background: Although there is no documented information so far concerning the occurrence of leptospirosis in humans in Ethiopia, climatologic, socioeconomic and cultural factors are highly favourable for the occurrence and spread of the disease in humans in the country.


Objective: The objective of this study is therefore to obtain an estimate of the occurrence of leptospirosis in humans in Ethiopia.


Method: Serum samples were collected from a total of 59 febrile patients attending the out patient department of Wonji Hospital, Shoa and Wonji Polyclinics. The samples were tested by Dri-Dot method for the presence of leptospirosis antibodies. The inclusion criteria for the patients were patients that are negative for malaria, whose chief complaint was not diarrhoeal disease and who have an axillary temperature of 37.5 0C and more.


Results: The study showed that 47.46% of the patients were positive for leptospirosis. The occurrence of the disease was more common in males than females.


Conclusions: This pilot study sufficiently demonstrated the occurrence of human leptospirosis. This is the first report on the presence of human leptospirosis in Ethiopia. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that further wider scale study should be conducted to estimate the actual prevalence of the disease and to identify the specific serovars of leptospires present in the country.


[Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2004;18(1):48-51]





http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejhd.v18i1.9866

Ethiopian Journal of Health Development.   ISSN: 1021-6790