206661 Risk factors associated with Leptospira infection in Western Jamaica

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:50 AM

Genine R. Ervin, DVM, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Background: Identification of risk factors associated with leptospirosis may aid in decreasing transmission of this infection from animals to humans. Objective: This study was conducted among a discrete population of serologically infected individuals in the Western region of Jamaica to identify and assess their knowledge of the factors associated with leptospiral transmission. Methods: An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on age, education, occupation, income, knowledge of leptospirosis and clinical symptoms from 41 confirmed leptospiral cases infected from January 2005 to December 2007, and 96 matched controls. Results: Sixty-three percent of the cases reported daily contact with rodents, compared to 50% of the controls. Also, 80.5% of cases reported having jaundice prior to hospital treatment. A majority of cases (70.7%) as well as controls (85.4%) had minimal knowledge of leptospirosis. Most of the transmission occurred among working adults, and males were noted to be disproportionately affected at a rate of four times greater than females. Conclusions: Jaundice was the most common clinical sign associated with leptospirosis in this sample. This suggests that rural areas should consider leptospirosis as a leading differential when correlated with the above clinical presentation. Steps should be taken to eliminate or decrease contact with rodents in the community and in educating community members regarding transmission and symptoms of leptospirosis.

Keywords: Leptospirosis, Western Jamaica, risk factors and transmission

Learning Objectives:
Identify the potential risk factors in the transmission of leptospirosis in Western Jamaica; Identify possible animals responsible for the transmission of leptospirosis in Western Jamaica; Formulate recommendations for future prevention of leptospirosis.

Keywords: Risk Factors, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Veterinarian with extensive background information on the zoonotic disease, leptospirosis. This study was completed while I was in the process of receiving my 3rd degree, a Master of Public Health in Environmental Medicine focusing on International and Global Sciences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.