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An outbreak of leptospirosis among reserve military recruits, Hulu Perdik, Malaysia


Vasantha Kumari, Neela and Mohd Desa, Mohd Nasir and Sither Joseph Vesudian, Narcisse Mary and Sekawi, Zamberi and Mustapha, Nooreen Farzana and Mohd-Taib, Farah Shafawati and Ishak, Siti Nabilah and Yusof, Muhammad Afif and Bashiru, Garba and Philip, Noraini and Ramli, Siti Nur Alia and Azhar, Natasya and Joseph, Narcisse (2019) An outbreak of leptospirosis among reserve military recruits, Hulu Perdik, Malaysia. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, 38 (3). pp. 523-528. ISSN 0934-9723; ESSN: 1435-4373


Here, we investigated an outbreak of leptospirosis among reserve military recruits that occurred following a survival exercise in the Hulu Perdik forest within the Hulu Langat district, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Blood samples from the 12 patients that presented symptoms for febrile illness on clinical examination were subjected to laboratory investigation, comprising Lepto IgM rapid test, IgM ELISA, and microscopic agglutination test (MAT). All these patients were interviewed for possible risk factors for leptospirosis. Rodent trapping and environmental sampling for possible isolation of leptospires in the outbreak site was performed. The isolated leptospires were genetically characterized and investigated for the potential epidemiological link with human leptospirosis. Among the 12 patients, two (2/12; 16.6%) were confirmed positive for leptospirosis by microscopic agglutination test (MAT with titers 400-800; serovar autumnalis and hardjobovis). Two Leptospira species from rodents (L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii) and two from the environment (L. kmetyi and L. wolffii) were identified. The possible epidemiological link between human serovars and animal Leptospira species indicates rodents as the potential reservoir while the environment (soil and water) serves as a transmission route. This investigation highlights the robust presence of pathogenic leptospires on Malaysian environment and rodents which may present the risk of infection, especially among high-risk individuals. Hence, occupational risk individuals are cautioned to observe appropriate preventive measures including prophylaxis and seek immediate medical attention for any illness following similar activities.

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Official URL or Download Paper: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30680558/

Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10096-018-03450-6
Publisher: Springer
Keywords: Emerging infectious disease; Leptospirosis; Malaysia; Occupational risk; Outbreak; Recreational exposure
Depositing User: Ms. Nuraida Ibrahim
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2020 20:29
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2020 20:29
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.1007/s10096-018-03450-6
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/80619
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