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The incidence and clinical characteristics of the immune phase eye disease in treated cases of human leptospirosis

Author(s): Pappachan Joseph | Mathew Sheela | Thomas Baby | Renjini K | Scaria Charles | Shukla Jyoti

Journal: Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 0019-5359

Volume: 61;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 441;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Leptospirosis | microscopic agglutination test | uveitis

Background: Uveitis is increasingly being reported from south India following epidemics of leptospirosis. The incidence of eye involvement in treated patients has not been investigated properly in prospective studies. Aims :To determine the incidence, clinical spectrum and risk factors for Leptospiral uveitis in antibiotic-treated patients. Settings and Design: A prospective cohort study conducted among the patients treated for leptospirosis at Calicut Medical College between July and November 2002 and a seroprevalence study among sewage workers. Materials And Methods: As many as 360 patients admitted with suspected leptospirosis were studied by clinical examination, baseline ophthalmic survey, laboratory investigations and Leptospira serology (Microagglutination test - MAT; and IgM and IgG using ELISA) during the epidemic. Of the 282 seropositive and antibiotic-treated cases, 174 patients who completed 30 months of regular follow-up were analyzed. A cross-sectional serosurveillance also was performed among 50 sewage workers to determine the baseline MAT titer. Statistical Analysis: Univariate analysis and logistic regression. Results: Thirty-two patients (18.4%) developed the eye disease during follow-up. The mean age was 43.9 years and the sex ratio was equal. Twenty-one patients (65.6%) had anterior uveitis. Only six patients (18.8%) had visual symptoms. Median duration for developing anterior uveitis was 4 weeks. Recurrent uveitis was not seen following treatment. None had vision-threatening eye disease. Clinical and laboratory abnormalities during the acute phase did not pose risk for development of the eye disease later. Forty-six sewage workers (92%) showed a MAT titer of 1/25. Conclusions: Uveitis is common following acute leptospirosis. Antibiotic-treated patients during the acute phase of illness developed only mild uveitis.
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