Cross sectional analysis of factors associated with leptospirosis cases treated at district general hospital, Matara, Sri Lanka during 2015-2018

Nayana Y. Samaraweera, Upali Karunaratne, Malkanthi K. Mediwaka, Deepika Patabendige, Janaka Jagathpathi, Buddhini S. Wijayasiriwardhana, Deepthi Senanayake, Sheran Amarasiri, Somarathna Wanniarachchi


Background: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic illness with a global disease burden impacting both developed and developing nations and is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. In this study, selected characteristics of confirmed leptospirosis cases were studied; hence modifiable risk factors were elucidated. This information would be useful to prevent further transmission of leptospirosis by public health care workers in Sri Lanka and take appropriate administrative decisions regarding leptospirosis control in the community.

 Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional survey of Bed Head Tickets (BHTs), Case Surveillance Forms of confirmed leptospirosis cases treated at district general hospital, Matara during 2015-2018. The study was conducted from 21.02.2019 to 01.03.2019.

Results: Age >35 years (OR 3.92:, 95% CI:2.72-5.65), male sex (OR:2.30, 95% CI:1.61-3.29), paddy field as source of infection (OR:2.45, 95% CI:1.69-3.54), positive history of recent skin lesions/injury (OR:2.29, 95% CI:1.58-3.34), (OR:3.14, 95% CI:1.62-6.06), (OR:2.88, 95% CI:1.31-6.36), (OR:2.13, 95% CI:1.27-3.58) were risk factors for leptospirosis. Positive history of chemo prophylactic treatment (doxycycline administration) and its duration were not associated with leptospirosis

Conclusions: Age >35 years (OR 3.92:, 95% CI:2.72-5.65), male sex (OR:2.30, 95% CI:1.61-3.29), paddy field as source of infection (OR:2.45, 95% CI:1.69-3.54), positive history of recent skin lesions/injury (OR:2.29, 95% CI:1.58-3.34) were risk factors for leptospirosis.



Leptospirosis, Risk factors, Cross sectional study

Full Text:



Costa F, Hagan JE, Calcagno J, Kane M, Torgerson P, Martinez-Silveira MS, et al. Global morbidity and mortality of leptospirosis: a systematic review. PLoS Neglect Trop Dis. 2015;9(9):e0003898.

Epidemiology Unit, Sri Lanka. Available at: Accessed on 10 October 2021.

Evangelista KV, Coburn J. Leptospira as an emerging pathogen: a review of its biology, pathogenesis and host immune responses. Future Microbiol. 2010;5(9): 1413-25.

National guidelines on management of leptospirosis. Available at: l892s/File558.pdf. Accessed on 10 October 2021.

Vijayachari P, Sugunan AP, Shriram AN. Leptospirosis: an emerging global public health problem. J Biosci. 2008;33(4):557-69.

Cook EA, de Glanville WA, Thomas LF, Kariuki S, de Clare Bronsvoort BM, Fèvre EM. Risk factors for leptospirosis seropositivity in slaughterhouse workers in western Kenya. Occup Environment Med. 2017; 74(5):357-65.

Onyemelukwe NF. A serological survey for leptospirosis in the Enugu area of eastern Nigeria among people at occupational risk. J Trop Med Hyg. 1993;96(5):301-4.

Saha R, Mullick SS , Guha TR. Incidence of Leptospirosis In India: a cross sectional study. Eur J Pharm Med Res. 2016:3(7):502-4.

Victoriano AF, Smythe LD, Gloriani-Barzaga N, Cavinta LL, Kasai T, Limpakarnjanarat K, et al. Leptospirosis in the Asia Pacific region. BMC Infect Dis. 2009;9(1):1-9.

Agampodi KM, Palihawadana P, Ginige S, Jayasinghe W, Sivasothy A, Wijesinghe R. Risk factors and reservoir species for leptospirosis in Sri Lanka principal investigators. South Asia regional one health symposium. 2013

Al-shere TA, Ujiie M, Suzuki M, Salva E, Belo MC, Koizumi N, et al. Outbreak of leptospirosis after flood, the Philippines, 2009. Emerg Infect Dis. 2012; 18(1):91.

Lau CL, Smythe LD, Craig SB, Weinstein P. Climate change, flooding, urbanisation and leptospirosis: fuelling the fire?. Transact Royal Soc Trop Med Hygiene. 2010;104(10):631-8.

Smith JK, Young MM, Wilson KL, Craig SB. Leptospirosis following a major flood in Central Queensland, Australia. Epidemiol Infect. 2013; 141(3):585-90.

Ellis WA. Animal leptospirosis. Leptospira leptospirosis. 2015:99-137.

Haake DA, Dundoo M, Cader R, Kubak BM, Hartskeerl RA, Sejvar JJ, et al. Leptospirosis, water sports, and chemoprophylaxis. Clinical Infect Dis. 2002;34(9):e40-3.

Wynwood SJ, Graham GC, Weier SL, Collet TA, McKay DB, Craig SB. Leptospirosis from water sources. Pathog Global Health. 2014;108(7):334-8.

Epidemiology Unit, Sri Lanka. Available at: Accessed on 04 September 2021.

Stata Corp LLC 4905 Lakeway Drive, College Station, Texas 77845-4512 USA; Available at https:// Accessed on 04 September 2021.

Nardone A, Capek I, Baranton G, Campèse C, Postic D, Vaillant V, Lié M, Desenclos JC. Risk factors for leptospirosis in metropolitan France: results of a national case-control study, 1999–2000. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004;39(5):751-3.

Phraisuwan P, Whitney EA, Tharmaphornpilas P, Guharat S, Thongkamsamut S, Aresagig S, et al. Leptospirosis: skin wounds and control strategies, Thailand, 1999. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002;8(12):1455.

Takafuji ET, Kirkpatrick JW, Miller RN, Karwacki JJ, Kelley PW, Gray MR, et al. An efficacy trial of doxycycline chemoprophylaxis against leptospirosis. New Eng J Med. 1984;310(8):497-500.