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Rev Clin Esp (Barc). 2014 Jun-Jul;214(5):247-52. doi: 10.1016/j.rce.2014.02.009. Epub 2014 Apr 1.

Leptospirosis in South-western Spain.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Hospital Universitario de Badajoz, Badajoz, España.
Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Hospital Universitario de Badajoz, Badajoz, España. Electronic address:



Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution and tropical predominance. Its incidence could be underestimated in template regions. We describe the manifestations of leptospirosis in an area of Southwestern Spain.


Eighty-six cases of leptospirosis (April 1997-April 2013) were retrospectively analyzed. The diagnosis was based in clinical and serological (Leptospira IgM ELISA) judgement. Epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and prognostic dates were recorded.


The mean age was 43.1 ± 13.8 years (84.9% males). The mean annual incidence was 1.99/100.000. There were activities of risk in 94%: 82.5% contact with animals (57.4% pigs, 38.1% dogs, 31.7% cows, 22.2% sheeps), and 31.7% contact with pooled water. The most frequent symptoms were fever (94.1%), arthromyalgias (60.7%), and cephalalgia (53.3%). The main laboratory alterations were hypertransaminemia (48%), renal insufficiency (26.3%), and thrombocytopenia (16.9%). A lymphocytic meningitis was associated in 11 cases (12.5%) and a picture of Weil's disease was observed in 13 patients (15.1%). The patients with meningitis were younger (31.2 ± 9.2 versus 44.8 ± 15.2, p=0.004). The patients with Weil's disease were older (53.5 ± 15.8 versus 41.2 ± 14.5, p=0.007). Fifty seven patients were hospitalized (66.3%) and 6 patients died (7.0%). Factors independently associated with mortality were age >60 years (odds ratio [OR] 45.0, confidence interval 95% [CI95%] 4.7-434.6) and diagnosis of Weil's disease (OR 15.8, CI95% 2.5-98.7).


In our experience, leptospirosis have a not despicable incidence and tends to show fever and arthromyalgias in men with risk activities. Leptospirosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of lymphocytic meningitis. Mortality is associated with older age.


Leptospirosis; Lymphocytic meningitis; Meningitis linfocitaria; Zoonosis

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