Next Article in Journal
Next Article in Special Issue
Previous Article in Journal
Previous Article in Special Issue
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1824-1833; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201824
Article

Discovery of a Leptospirosis Cluster Amidst a Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in a Miners’ Camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

1,* , 2
, 3
 and 4
Received: 8 January 2014; in revised form: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2014 / Published: 7 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [194 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]
Abstract: Conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo provide an ideal environment for leptospirosis and plague, both of which can cause severe pulmonary manifestations. In December 2004, an outbreak of lethal pneumonia occurred in a local mining camp, affecting 130 persons and killing 57 of them. Clinical signs, fast disease spread, and initial laboratory investigations suggested pneumonic plague. While leptospirosis had not recently been described in the region, it was considered as a differential diagnosis. Anti-Leptospira antibodies were detected by microscopic agglutination test (MAT). A confirmed case of leptospirosis was defined as having consistent clinical signs and any one of the following: seroconversion or four-fold increase in MAT titre for paired serum samples, or a MAT titre ≥ 1:400 for acute-phase serum samples. Twenty-nine of the 54 patients or convalescents tested for leptospirosis were seropositive. Two cases showed a confirmed infection for both plague and leptospirosis. While evidence supports the plague nature of this outbreak, the results suggest that some of the suspected plague cases might be due to leptospirosis. In any case, this diagnosis will have to be evoked in the future if a similar outbreak occurs in this region of Africa.
Keywords: leptospirosis; pneumonia; plague; pneumonic plague; Central Africa leptospirosis; pneumonia; plague; pneumonic plague; Central Africa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Bertherat, E.; Mueller, M.J.; Shako, J.-C.; Picardeau, M. Discovery of a Leptospirosis Cluster Amidst a Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in a Miners’ Camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1824-1833.

AMA Style

Bertherat E, Mueller MJ, Shako J-C, Picardeau M. Discovery of a Leptospirosis Cluster Amidst a Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in a Miners’ Camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(2):1824-1833.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bertherat, Eric; Mueller, Melissa J.; Shako, Jean-Christophe; Picardeau, Mathieu. 2014. "Discovery of a Leptospirosis Cluster Amidst a Pneumonic Plague Outbreak in a Miners’ Camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 2: 1824-1833.


Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert