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Leptospirosis: Increasing importance in developing countries

Soo, Zoey May Pheng, Khan, Naveed Ahmed, Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah
Acta tropica 2019
Leptospira, developing countries, diagnostic techniques, early diagnosis, environmental factors, fever, headache, indigenous species, leptospirosis, muscles, nausea, physicians, point-of-care systems, rapid methods, risk factors, zoonoses, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the pathogenic helical spirochetes, Leptospira. Symptoms include sudden-onset fever, severe headaches, muscle pain, nausea and chills. Leptospirosis is endemic in developing countries such as Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil where thousands of cases are reported annually. The disease risk factors include the high population of reservoirs, environmental factors, recreational factors, and occupational factors. To end the endemicity of leptospirosis, these factors need to be tackled. The management of leptospirosis needs to be refined. Early diagnosis remains a challenge due to a lack of clinical suspicion among physicians, its non-specific symptoms and a limited availability of rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests. The purpose of this review is to provide insight into the status of leptospirosis in developing countries focusing on the risk factors and to propose methods for the improved management of the disease.