Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Absence of epidemicity of severe leptospirosis in Barbados

S. Bennetta1 and C. O. R. Everarda2

a1 Tropical Health Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel St, London WC1E 7HT, UK

a2 Leptospira Laboratory, Enmore 2, Lower Collymore Rock, St Michael, Barbados


The possibility of micro-epidemics of severe leptospirosis occurring on the island of Barbados was investigated by examining the space-time clustering of the disease in 212 laboratory-confirmed cases admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bridgetown, over a 7-year period. A series of 109 patients with symptoms compatible with leptospirosis but shown to be otherwise by laboratory examination were also examined for comparison. No significant space-time clustering was found among the leptospirosis cases, indicating no evidence for micro-epidemics. By comparison, statistically significant clustering was apparent among the smaller non-leptospirosis series. Possible explanations for the absence of observed micro-epidemics of leptospirosis are discussed.

(Accepted August 30 1990)