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Clinical and biochemical differences between hantavirus infection and leptospirosis: a retrospective analysis of a patient series in Belgium

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Objectives: Hantavirus infection and leptospirosis are infectious diseases transmitted by rodents. The clinical picture is nonspecific, often involving the kidneys but other organs can be affected too. Clinical and biochemical clues to make a difference between these two entities will be described.Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on a database of patients presenting between January 2012 and September 2017 at the emergency department of the university hospital Leuven, Belgium. Patients were selected on the basis of a compatible clinical picture, biochemistry, and microbiological evidence. Presenting complaints and clinical examination were compared. Blood, taken at presentation, was used for hematological and biochemical analysis.Results: Sixteen patients with hantavirus infection and eight patients with leptospirosis were identified. All patients complained about general malaise and fever. Other frequent complaints were myalgia and a headache. Patients with leptospirosis often experienced photo- or sonophobia.Looking for neck stiffness and eye lesions might help to diagnose leptospirosis.Differences in biochemistry between viral and bacterial disease could be recognized; high C-reactive protein (CRP) and leukocytosis with left shift favor leptospirosis, elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) favors viral infection. Abnormal liver function with raised total bilirubin is often seen in cases with leptospirosis.Conclusion: This study demonstrates some subtle clues that may help to differentiate between hantavirus infection and leptospirosis in patients presenting to a hospital in a nonendemic region of the world. Because of small number of patients, we could not identify significant clinical or biochemical tests. Serology remains the gold standard.
Tijdschrift: Acta Clinica Belgica
ISSN: 1784-3286
Issue: 3
Volume: 75
Pagina's: 185 - 192
Aantal pagina's: 8
Jaar van publicatie:2020