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Seroepidemiology of leptospirosis in workers of high risk occupation in Mazandaran province – Iran 2007-2008

Author(s): Farhang Babamahmoodi1 | Meysam Salmani Mojaveri2 | Abdolreza Babamahmoodi2

Journal: Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences
ISSN 1735-9260

Volume: 19;
Issue: 73;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Leptospirosis | risk factors | epidemiology | occupations

(Received 14 July, 2009 ; Accepted 23 December, 2009)AbstractBackground and purpose: Leptospirosis (also known as Weil's disease, 7-day fever and many more) is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira that affects humans and a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. It was first described by Adolf Weil in 1886 when he reported an "acute infectious disease with enlargement of spleen, jaundice and nephritis". Leptospira was first observed in 1907 from a post mortem renal tissue slice. It is recognized as the world's most common zoonoses. This disease continues to have a major impact on people living in urban and rural areas of developing countries with inestimable morbidity and mortality. The disease is an occupational hazard.People in Mazandaran province in the North of Iran, are mostly involved in agricultural fields or animal husbandry and leptospirosis is common in this area. In this study we tried to find seroepidemiology of leptospirosis in workers that were involved in 5 group of high risk jobs (farmers, mine workers, abattoir workers, animal farm workers, anglers).Materials and methods: This is a descriptive case- series study. Our target population was 500 people that were involved in one of fore-mentioned high risk occupations for leptospirosis, 100 of each one, selected them by cluster sampling. They were screened for the presence of serum Leptospira immunoglobulin G. IgG was tested with a commercially available immuno florescent assay (IFA) method.Results: Serologic study showed that 29.5% of farmers, 18% of fishers, 12.5% of mine workers, 6% of animal farm workers and 4% of abattoir workers were positive (IFA ≥ 1/10).Conclusion: Our data emphasize the importance of occupational exposure to leptospirosis among people who have exposure with infected water or soil in Northern Province Mazandaran-Iran. Thus, it is clear that contact with water and soil are risk factors of getting infected with Leptospira.J Mazand Univ Med Sci 2009; 19(73): 11-15 (Persian).

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