Globalization of leptospirosis through travel and migration

Author/s:
Medhani Bandara, Mahesha Ananda, Kolitha Wickramage, Elisabeth Berger, Suneth Agampodi

Year:
2014

Language:
English

Publication Type:
Scientific reports (Journal)
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External
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Description: 

Abstract: Leptospirosis remains the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world, commonly found in tropical or temperate climates. While previous studies have offered insight into intra-national and intra-regional transmission, few have analyzed transmission across international borders. Our review aimed at examining the impact of human travel and migration on the re-emergence of Leptospirosis. Results suggest that alongside regional environmental and occupational exposure, international travel now constitute a major independent risk factor for disease acquisition. Contribution of travel associated leptospirosis to total caseload is as high as 41.7% in some countries. In countries where longitudinal data is available, a clear increase of proportion of travel-associated leptospirosis over the time is noted. Reporting patterns is clearly showing a gross underestimation of this disease due to lack of diagnostic facilities. The rise in global travel and eco-tourism has led to dramatic changes in the epidemiology of Leptospirosis. We explore the obstacles to prevention, screening and diagnosis of Leptopirosis in health systems of endemic countries and of the returning migrant or traveler. We highlight the need for developing guidelines and preventive strategies of Leptospirosis related to travel and migration, including enhancing awareness of the disease among health professionals in high-income countries.

Region/Country (by coverage): 
Publisher: 
Biomed Central