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Acta Trop. 2008 May;106(2):128-31. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.02.005. Epub 2008 Feb 29.

Seroepidemiology and serological follow-up of anti-leptospiral IgG in children in Southern Vietnam.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine and AIDS, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


A follow-up study was conducted with 23 months interval to investigate the seroepidemiology and persistence of Leptospira IgG antibodies among healthy children in Binh Thuan province, Southern Vietnam. Sera from 262 children (7-13 years of age) were collected and analysed with a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Leptospira IgG. Seroconversion was observed in 10.4% (22 of 211, 95% CI: 5.6-26.7) of the children, of whom 18 (8.5%) had probably and four (1.9%) had certainly been exposed to Leptospira. Based on the reduction of sero-negatives of 1.9% among children who have been certainly exposed, the annual seroconversion rate, a measure of the incidence rate of Leptospira infections, corresponds to 0.99% (95% CI: 0.39-2.52). In 61% (31 of 51, 95% CI: 47.1-73.0) of the children with past-infection, Leptospira IgG antibodies remain detectable after 2 years. Data from this study indicate that IgG antibody responses against Leptospira may persist at least for 2 years in children without manifestations of leptospirosis. Results of study uncover the true incidence of leptospirosis infection, the dynamics of waxing and waning antibody concentrations and points at a larger burden of clinically non-significant Leptospira infections in Southern Vietnam. This also indicates background reactivity for serological testing and thus serological result of a single serum sample must be carefully interpreted.

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