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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Apr;90(4):719-23. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0667. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Oxidative stress markers correlate with renal dysfunction and thrombocytopenia in severe leptospirosis.

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Laboratory of Pathology and Molecular Biology, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil; Institute of Collective Health, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil; Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health New Haven, Connecticut.


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that causes severe manifestations such as Weil's disease and pulmonary hemorrhage syndrome. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and antioxidant reduced glutathione (GSH) levels are related to complications in patients hospitalized with leptospirosis. The ROS production and GSH levels were measured in blood samples of 12 patients and nine healthy controls using chemiluminescence and absorbance assays. We found that ROS production was higher and GSH levels were lower in leptospirosis patients compared with healthy individuals. Among patients, GSH depletion was correlated with thrombocytopenia and elevated serum creatinine, whereas a strong positive correlation was observed between ROS production and elevated serum potassium. Additional investigation of the biological significance of ROS production and GSH levels is warranted as they may guide the development of novel adjuvant therapies for leptospirosis targeting oxidative stress.

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