Investigation of Risk Factors Associated with Leptospirosis in the North of Iran (2011-2017)

Ebrahim Sahneh, Ali Delpisheh, Kourosh Sayehmiri, Behnaz Khodabakhshi, Miremad Moafi-Madani


Background: The risk factors for infection with leptospirosis in Iran have never been studied. We aimed to determine the risk factors of leptospirosis and the epidemiological pattern of this disease in Golestan Province, Iran during 2011-2017.

Study design: A case-control study.

Methods: This case-control study was performed on the population of patients diagnosed with leptospirosis. Controls were selected from the residents of Golestan province, northern Iran and were matched with the cases for gender, age group, and place of residence. After coding the data collected in checklists, the analysis was performed in SPSS using independent t-test, logistic regression, contingency tables, and Fisher exact test.

Results: Eighty-seven cases were diagnosed infected with leptospirosis. Most patients were male (69.0%) and residents of rural areas (82.7%). The three leading risk factors for leptospirosis were exposure to stagnant rice paddy water while having a skin scratch/injury (OR=11.21, 95% CI: 3.02, 43.06), washing the face with stagnant rice paddy water (OR=11.33, 95% CI: 5.12, 25.01), and sighting of rats or rat nest in rice paddies (OR=3.30, 95% CI: 1.01, 11.62).

Conclusion: For farmers working in stagnant and muddy waters of rice paddies, occupational protection measures such as wearing waterproof boots, gloves, support, and socks can reduce the chance of infection with leptospirosis. Health education of the people with susceptible occupations about the transmission and prevention methods can also play a key role in controlling this disease.


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