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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Jan;78(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.09.012. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Rapid tests for diagnosis of leptospirosis: current tools and emerging technologies.

Author information

1
Institut Pasteur, Unité de Biologie des Spirochètes, National Reference Center and WHO Collaborating Center for Leptospirosis, Paris, France.
2
World Health Organization, Health Security and Environment/Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases, 20 Av Appia, 1211, Geneva 27, Switzerland.
3
Health and Climate Foundation, 1425K St NW suite 350, Washington DC 20005, USA.
4
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra VA, Italy.
5
Royal Tropical Institute, KIT Biomedical Research, WHO/FAO/OIE and National Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Leptospirosis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: r.hartskeerl@kit.nl.

Abstract

Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonosis with a worldwide distribution but is more commonly found in impoverished populations in developing countries and tropical regions with frequent flooding. The rapid detection of leptospirosis is a critical step to effectively manage the disease and to control outbreaks in both human and animal populations. Therefore, there is a need for accurate and rapid diagnostic tests and appropriate surveillance and alert systems to identify outbreaks. This review describes current in-house methods and commercialized tests for the rapid diagnosis of acute leptospirosis. It focuses on diagnostic tests that can be performed with minimal training and limited equipment in less-developed and newly industrialized countries, particularly in resource-limited settings and with results in minutes to less than 4 hours. We also describe recent technological advances in the field of diagnostic tests that could allow for the development of innovative rapid tests in the near future.

KEYWORDS:

Diagnostic test; Diagnostics; Early diagnosis; Early warning; Innovation; Leptospirosis; Outbreak; Surveillance

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