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Seroprevalence of Leptospirosis among Town Service Workers in Northeastern State of Malaysia

Introduction: Town service workers are likely to be exposed to the leptospiral infection as a result of their occupational activities. All activities in solid waste management involve risk of the infection at every step in the process from the point where residents handle wastes in the home for collection or recycling, to the point of ultimate disposal.

Aim and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of leptospirosis among town service workers as there was very little publication on the issue in Malaysia.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 296 town service workers in northeastern state of Malaysia. The town service workers consisted of four main job categories namely garbage collector, town cleaner, landscaper and lorry driver. Seroprevalence for leptospirosis was determined by microscopic agglutination test (MAT).

Results: All respondents were Malay males with mean age of 42.1 (SD 8.38) years old with mean duration of employment of 15.6 (SD 8.62) years. The overall seroprevalence of leptospirosis was 24.7 % (95 %CI: 19.7, 29.6). The predominant pathogenic serovar was Bataviae (12.3 %). Garbage collectors and town cleaners were shown to have higher prevalence which were 27.4 % (95 % CI: 16.9, 37.9) and 26.0 % (95 % CI: 17.4, 34.5) respectively.

Conclusion: Town service workers are occupational risk group for leptospirosis as indicated by the high seroprevalence.

Author(s): Mohd Nazri Shafei , Mohd Rahim Sulong , Nor Azwany Yaacob , Habsah Hassan , Wan Mohd Zahiruddin Wan Mohamad , Aziah Daud , Zaliha Ismail , Mohamed Rusli Abdullah

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