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Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0375-0760


GARCIA MASAYA, María Luisa et al. Seroprevalence of human leptospirosis in a settlement of the urban area in Guatemala city. Rev Cubana Med Trop [online]. 2013, vol.65, n.2, pp.166-176. ISSN 0375-0760.

Introduction: although leptospirosis is considered a rural environment disease, recent urban epidemics make it emerge as a public health problem. A seroprevalence of 51.8 % has been found in rural areas of Guatemala; therefore it is important to establish the impact that this disease may have on the Guatemalan urban population. Objectives: to determine the seroprevalence of human leptospirosis in a settlement of Guatemala city and also to identify urban Leptospira interrogans serovars and risk factors associated with exposure to the bacteria. Methods: there were selected 119 people aged 6 years old and over from both sexes, who agreed to participate after giving their informed consent. Sociodemographic data were collected and venous blood samples were taken. The microagglutination test (MAT) and ELISA IgG were used to detect antibodies. Sera were tested against 20 serovars of Leptospira interrogans sensu lato. The seroprevalence was determined with a 95% confidence interval, and sociodemographic variables were evaluated with Chi square and Odds Ratio using Epi Info 3.5.1. Results: a 30.3 % seroprevalence of leptospirosis was found in the study population (CI, 95%). The more frequently serovars founded were Australis and Lanka (11.1 % each). The most common titer was 1:80 (MAT). Different risk factors were found, but none showed a significant association with the presence of Leptospira IgG antibodies (p> 0.05). Conclusion: the prevalence of IgG anti-Leptospira antibodies detected in the residents of the settlement is comparable to that of the urban areas of other countries where leptospirosis is hyperendemic. For avoiding outbreaks in these areas, it is important to prevent and control the infection in the community.

Keywords : human leptospirosis; urban areas; Leptospira; microagglutination test; risk factors; seroprevalence.

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