The role of gender in the prevalence of human leptospirosis in Albania
Introduction: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic spirochetal disease with global importance, which continues to have a major impact on public health in developing countries. The prevalence of the disease is much higher in males. The objectives of this study were: to give some data and to share our experience with human leptospirosis in Albania; to describe the prevalence regarding to the role of gender in the prevalence of human leptospirosis; to make a gender specific analysis of the clinical manifestations in patients diagnosed and treated for leptospirosis in our service and to make a review of literature related to this hypothesis.
Methodology: We reviewed the epidemiologic data, risk factors and differences in clinical presentation between males and females’ patients with leptospirosis. These data are analysed from hospitalized patients. Diagnosis of leptospirosis was established based on clinical presentation, epidemiological data and subsequently confirmed serologically by Anti-Leptospira IgM antibodies through ELISA test.
Results: Between 2005-2016, 233 cases of confirmed leptospirosis were analysed. Males were 208 (89.27%) and 25 of patients (10.72%) were females in ratio 9:1 p < 0.001. The highest prevalence was observed in the 45-64 age groups. Overall mortality was found to be 8.58%, 19 were males and one female p < 0.001.
Conclusions: There is a much higher prevalence of leptospirosis in middle aged men. Mortality rate seems to be similar in males and females. While the difference in prevalence may be related to exposure to risk factors, further investigation is necessary to study gender-based genetic and immunological predisposition.
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