Rapid tests for diagnosis of Leptospirosis: Current tools and emerging technologies

Institut Pasteur, Unité de Biologie des Spirochètes, National Reference Center and WHO Collaborating Center for Leptospirosis, Paris, France.
Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease (Impact Factor: 2.46). 10/2013; 78(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.09.012
Source: PubMed


Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonosis with a worldwide distribution but is more commonly found in impoverished populations in developing countries and tropical regions with frequent flooding. The rapid detection of leptospirosis is a critical step to effectively manage the disease and to control outbreaks in both human and animal populations. Therefore, there is a need for accurate and rapid diagnostic tests and appropriate surveillance and alert systems to identify outbreaks. This review describes current in-house methods and commercialized tests for the rapid diagnosis of acute leptospirosis. It focuses on diagnostic tests that can be performed with minimal training and limited equipment in less-developed and newly industrialized countries, particularly in resource-limited settings and with results in minutes to less than 4 hours. We also describe recent technological advances in the field of diagnostic tests that could allow for the development of innovative rapid tests in the near future.

Download full-text


Available from: Rudy A Hartskeerl, Jul 03, 2015
    • "Leptospira spp. appears in blood during the acute phase (3–10 days) of the disease and is eliminated from blood in the immune phase with rise of antibody (Picardeau et al., 2014). Thus, Group I sera represented samples from acutely infected patients within 10 days post-infection, since there were circulating bacteria detectable by PCR as well as presence of adequate level of agglutinating antibodies as evidenced by the MAT results. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated two rapid leptospirosis serological tests, Leptorapide® (Linnodee, Northern Ireland) and VISITECT®-LEPTO (Omega Diagnostics, Scotland, UK), which are commonly used in Malaysia A total of 183 samples comprised 113 sera from leptospirosis patients and 70 sera from other infections and healthy controls were used. The leptospirosis sera were grouped into two serum panels i.e. Group I (MAT+, PCR+) and Group II (MAT+). When inconclusive results were interpreted as positives, both tests showed lower diagnostic sensitivities (≤34%) with Group I sera, as compared to Group II sera (Leptorapide®, 93%; VISITECT®-LEPTO, 40%). When inconclusive results were interpreted as negatives, the two tests showed ~20% sensitivity with both serum panels. The diagnostic specificity of VISITEC®-LEPTO (94%) was superior to Leptorapide® (69%). Since both tests had misdiagnosed a large proportion of Group I patients, and showed many inconclusive results among Group II patients, they have limited diagnostic value in detecting acute leptospirosis.
    Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease 09/2014; 80(4). DOI:10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2014.08.012 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Patients present with clinical signs difficult to distinguish from other endemic illnesses including dengue fever, malaria, HIV, rickettsial disease and yellow fever. Further, regional and district level health centers often lack appropriate diagnostic laboratories to perform the serological testing required to establish a diagnosis [9]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis remains the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world, commonly found in tropical or temperate climates. While previous studies have offered insight into intra-national and intra-regional transmission, few have analyzed transmission across international borders. Our review aimed at examining the impact of human travel and migration on the re-emergence of Leptospirosis. Results suggest that alongside regional environmental and occupational exposure, international travel now constitute a major independent risk factor for disease acquisition. Contribution of travel associated leptospirosis to total caseload is as high as 41.7% in some countries. In countries where longitudinal data is available, a clear increase of proportion of travel-associated leptospirosis over the time is noted. Reporting patterns is clearly showing a gross underestimation of this disease due to lack of diagnostic facilities. The rise in global travel and eco-tourism has led to dramatic changes in the epidemiology o
    Globalization and Health 08/2014; 10(1-1):61. DOI:10.1186/s12992-014-0061-0 · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. The genus includes a large number of serovars that may be sheed in the urine of infected animals creating a highly infectious source of transmission. Numerous species of wild and domestic mammals act as maintenance hosts and form reservoirs of the bacteria, with other species being incidental hosts that may develop the disease. In dogs and cats, the disease is caused by different serovars and while dogs act as maintenance host for some serovars, both species are incidental host for others. Dogs and cats may have frequent contact with wild and domestic farm animals, therefore they are an important link in the transmission route. Leptospira may survive in the environment which increases the complexity of the epidemiology. The presentation of the disease can be highly variable and, particularly for feline leptospirosis, not well described. Laboratory testing is essential for the diagnosis. however, it is complicated due to the need to discriminate between Leptospira infection in animals with clinical disease from leptospiral specific antibody responses in maintenance hosts, or in animals with subclinical infection. Infection in pets may have important economic and public health implications and because of the risk of transmission from pets to their owners and to other animals, preventive measures need to be applied and an increased awareness is adviced.
    Archivos de Medicina Veterinaria 12/2013; 46(3):337-348. DOI:10.4067/S0301-732X2014000300002 · 0.31 Impact Factor
Show more