High incidence of leptospirosis in an observational study of hospital outpatients in Vanuatu highlights the need for improved awareness and diagnostic capacities

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Estimates of leptospirosis morbidity identified Oceania as the region with highest burden. Besides Australia and New Zealand, Oceania is home of Pacific Island Countries and Territories, most of which are developing countries facing a number of challenges. Their archipelago geography notably affects health infrastructure and access to healthcare. Although human leptospirosis was formerly identified in Vanuatu, there is a lack of knowledge of this disease in the country. We aimed to identify leptospirosis in outpatients visiting the hospital. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a clinical study to investigate leptospirosis as a cause of non-malarial acute febrile illness in Vanuatu. A total 161 outpatients visiting the outpatient clinics at Port Vila Central Hospital for internal medicine were recruited over 20 month. We showed that leptospirosis significantly affects humans in Vanuatu: 12 cases were confirmed by real-time PCR on acute blood samples (n = 5) or by high serology titers evidencing a recent infection (MAT titer ≥800 or ELISA≥18 Units, n = 7). A high rate of positive serology was also evidenced, by MAT (100
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Junior George Pakoa, Marie-Estelle Soupé-Gilbert, Dominique Girault, Dexter Takau, Justina Gaviga, et al.. High incidence of leptospirosis in an observational study of hospital outpatients in Vanuatu highlights the need for improved awareness and diagnostic capacities. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2018, 12 (6), pp.e0006564. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0006564⟩. ⟨pasteur-01808819⟩

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