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Risk Factors of Leptospirosis in Rice Cultivators as Compared to non Rice Cultivators in Punjab, Pakistan

Risk Factors of Leptospirosis in Rice Cultivators as Compared to non Rice Cultivators in Punjab, Pakistan

Muhammad Athar Khan1, Muhammad Zahid Latif2*, Syed Amir Gilani3 and Ifrah Bukhari4 

1Director University Institute of Public Health, The University of Lahore, Pakistan; 2Director, Department of Medical Education, Associate Professor of Community Medicine, Azra Naheed Medical College, The Superior University, Lahore, Pakistan; 3Dean, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, The University of Lahore, Pakistan; 4Institute of Administrative Sciences University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.


Leptospirosis is a global zoonotic infectious disease having alarming public health concerns. Generally this is an occupation related disease and the victims belong to animal slaughtering, owners of pet shops, farm workers, handlers of meat, sewerage and agriculture workers. Leptospirosis affect multiple organs in human body and may lead to myocarditis, renal failure, respiratory distress and hypotension. This disease is an emerging infectious problem in many developing countries like Pakistan. A total of 250 subjects were selected from five different rice growing districts of Punjab, Pakistan after the approval of institutional ethical review board (IERB), 250 subjects were selected for this comparative cross sectional study. Multiple stage probability technique was used for sampling. In the first stage one union council was selected from each district randomly. In the second stage, 25 subjects involved in rice cultivation from the last 10 years were selected from each union council. Similarly 25 subjects who never worked in the rice paddy field were also randomly selected from each union council as controls. The serum sample of each subject was tested against each of the five antigens against the serovars. A total of 250 subjects were included in the study. Out of these, 125 subjects were exposed to the rice paddy water where as 125 were not exposed to rice paddy water. The cumulative seropositivity among the exposed is (83.2%) as compared to (42%) among the non exposed to rice paddy field water. The calculated cumulative odds ratio is 6.7 which represent a strong association of the risk for the development of disease among the exposed than the non exposed subjects. Leptospirosis is a public health zoonotic disease which is widely present in tropical and sub tropical areas. This study concludes that there is a strong association of rice cultivation with Leptospirosis. It is recommended that rice cultivators should protect their body parts with gloves or boots as prevention is the most appropriate way to control any disease. 


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Annals of King Edward Medical University


Vol. 24, Iss. 1, Pages 1-153

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