Molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases in São Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal): A hospital-based descriptive study
Introduction: We performed a descriptive analysis of molecular diagnosis of infectious agents in the São Miguel Island population, in order to address questions like what is the frequency of clinical requests, is it observable seasonality of pathogens, and what is the positive rate for the clinical diagnosis.
Methodology: This was a retrospective and descriptive study based on 878 individuals suspected of harboring infectious diseases during two consecutive years, 2012–2013. More than 25 different pathogens were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. The individuals were stratified into gender, occupation, and age groups.
Results: The pathogen with more clinical requests was hepatitis C virus, investigated in 225 individuals (30.0%), followed by Leptospira spp., in 187 (24.9%). Overall, data demonstrated a gender distribution bias, where 72.9% of cases were males. The age group of 25 to 44 years was the class with more clinical requests. Regarding occupation, a predominance of construction workers (12.0%) was observed, followed by retired workers (11.0%). Patient distribution per year showed a higher number of patients in the fall months. Diagnoses of leptospirosis and respiratory virus infections presented seasonality.
Conclusions: The present study provides a valid contribution to the knowledge of the epidemiology of infectious diseases in the São Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal) population.
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