Estimating the burden of leptospirosis in Sri Lanka; a systematic review.

Suneth Agampodi
Suneth Agampodi
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

BMC Infect Dis 2019 Feb 6;19(1):119. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Saliyapura, 50008, Sri Lanka.

Background: Although the assessment of disease burden should be a priority for allocating resources, leptospirosis is grossly underestimated despite its true burden in Sri Lanka. This study aimed to assess the morbidity and mortality of leptospirosis based on routine surveillance data, hospital reported data and scientific publications from Sri Lanka.

Method: A systematic review was carried out, and Pub Med, MEDLINE®, BIOSIS Previews, Zoological Record, Web of Science Core Collection, Current Contents Connect, KCI-Korean Journal Database, BIOSIS Citation Index, Data Citation Index, SciELO Citation Index and Google Scholar databases were searched. Quarterly epidemiological bulletin (QEB), indoor morbidity & mortality returns (IMMR) and hand searches of local literature were performed in local libraries. Forty-two relevant full texts, 32 QEBs, and 8 IMMR were included in the full text review. Adjustments were made for under diagnosis, underreporting and chance variability.

Results: The estimated annual caseload of leptospirosis in Sri Lanka from 2008 to 2015, was 10,423, and the cumulative annual incidence of leptospirosis that required hospitalization was 52.1 (95% CI 51.7-52.6) per 100,000 people. The estimated number of annual deaths due to leptospirosis was approximately 730 (95% CI 542-980), with an estimated pooled case fatality ratio of 7.0% (95% CI 5.2-9.4). The most common organs involved were the kidney, liver and heart, with median rates of 48.7, 30, and 14.2%, respectively.

Conclusion: Our systematic review shows gross underestimation of the true leptospirosis burden in the national statistics of Sri Lanka, and the hospitalization rates estimated in our study were compatible with the total burden estimate of 300·6 (95% CI 96·54-604·23) per 100,000 people published previously.

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