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Seasonality of human leptospirosis in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) and its association with meteorological data

Desvars A., Jego S., Chiroleu F., Bourhy P., Cardinale E., Michault A.. 2011. PloS One, 6 (5) : 9 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020377

Background: Leptospirosis is a disease which occurs worldwide but particularly affects tropical areas. Transmission of the disease is dependent on its excretion by reservoir animals and the presence of moist environment which allows the survival of the bacteria. Methods and Findings: A retrospective study was undertaken to describe seasonal patterns of human leptospirosis cases reported by the Centre National de Re´fe´rences des Leptospiroses (CNRL, Pasteur Institute, Paris) between 1998 and 2008, to determine if there was an association between the occurrence of diagnosed cases and rainfall, temperature and global solar radiation (GSR). Meteorological data were recorded in the town of Saint-Beno?¿t (Me´te´o France ''Beaufonds-Miria'' station), located on the windward (East) coast. Time-series analysis was used to identify the variables that best described and predicted the occurrence of cases of leptospirosis on the island. Six hundred and thirteen cases were reported during the 11-year study period, and 359 cases (58.56%) were diagnosed between February and May. A significant correlation was identified between the number of cases in a given month and the associated cumulated rainfall as well as the mean monthly temperature recorded 2 months prior to diagnosis (r = 0.28 and r = 0.23 respectively). The predictive model includes the number of cases of leptospirosis recorded 1 month prior to diagnosis (b = 0.193), the cumulated monthly rainfall recorded 2 months prior to diagnosis (b = 0.145), the average monthly temperature recorded 0 month prior to diagnosis (b = 3.836), and the average monthly GSR recorded 0 month prior to diagnosis (b =21.293). Conclusions: Leptospirosis has a seasonal distribution in Reunion Island. Meteorological data can be used to predict the occurrence of the disease and our statistical model can help to implement seasonal prevention measures.

Mots-clés : leptospirose; genre humain; variation saisonnière; réunion; france

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