Leptospirosis in Barbados. A clinical study

West Indian Med J. 1990 Mar;39(1):27-34.


A 39-month clinical study of leptospirosis was undertaken at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados. Eighty-eight patients had a confirmed diagnosis of the disease during the period. The major serogroups identified were autumnalis (including a new serovar bim), icterohaemorrhagiae, ballum and canicola. The majority of patients presented with jaundice (95%,) anorexia and headaches (85%), fever (76%) and conjunctival suffusion (54%). While abnormal creatinine levels were seen in 49% of patients on admission, only 16% were judged to have had renal failure. The urine to plasma urea ratio showed high sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of pre-renal azotemia. Cardiac arrhythmias and myocarditis occurred in 18% of patients and pericarditis in 6%. An elevated serum amylase was found in 65% of cases. The bilirubin level took 5.5 weeks to return to normal. Thrombocytopenia was shown not to be due to a disseminated intravascular coagulation, and a randomised trial of high dose penicillin did not reveal any benefit to jaundiced patients. The overall mortality during the study was 5.7%.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barbados / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leptospira interrogans / classification*
  • Leptospira interrogans serovar canicola / classification*
  • Leptospirosis / complications
  • Leptospirosis / diagnosis
  • Leptospirosis / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Serotyping