Background: Leptospirosis is a neglected tropical zoonoses that presents with fever and can be misdiagnosed, with fatal outcomes. Its incidence has been on the increase in recent times with 1 million cases and over 60,000 deaths reported annually worldwide. We determined the seroprevalence of leptospirosis and associated risk factors among presumptive malaria patients in a secondary health facility in Ibadan.
Methods: We used Leptospira Rapid Diagnostic Test kit to estimate the seroprevalence of leptospirosis among 143 patients who presented at the study center between 27th April and 15th May 2019 whom a physician had seen and tentatively diagnosed malaria. We used one drop of blood for the test from blood collected by trained laboratory technicians for malaria diagnosis. Data on patients’ demographics and risk factors were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. We calculated frequencies, means and proportion. We did bivariate analyses at α0.05 to test for associations.
Result: The median age of the participants was 34 years (range: 6 months-80 years). Eighty-nine (62.2%) of them were females. Of the 143 tested, 12 (8.4%) were positive for Leptospira IgM/IgG antibodies. Eleven (7.7%) patients were positive for malaria. One (0.7%) was positive for both malaria and leptospirosis. None of the risk factors measured was significantly associated with leptospirosis.
Conclusion: we confirmed Leptospirosis among febrile patients at the study center We found that the seroprevalence of leptospirosis is same as that of malaria among the sampled population. However, leptospirosis/malaria co-infection was low. We recommend a review of the diagnostic protocol to include leptospirosis as a differential.