Association of leptospirosis and scrub typhus in acute encephalitis syndrome in a tertiary care hospital in Odisha, India.Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2021 09 03; 115(9):1088-1090.TR
Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a major public health concern in India, causing febrile illness principally associated with viral infection. Bacteria-like scrub typhus and leptospirosis also cause acute febrile illness. Therefore, this study was conceived to address the possible etiological agents contributing to sporadic AES in a tertiary care center in Odisha, India.
This was a prospective hospital-based study that enrolled 92 consecutive patients with clinically diagnosed AES whose blood/cerebrospinal fluid samples were tested for IgM antibodies to dengue, Japanese encephalitis (JE), herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), leptospirosis and scrub typhus.
Viral antibodies to dengue were detected in three (3.26%) cases, HSV1 in four (4.34%) and HSV2 in three (3.26%) cases. Significantly, antibodies to EBV in 22 (23.591%) and to JE in 27 (29.34%) cases were detected. Notably, 30 (32.60%) and 11(12.0%) of patients had IgM antibodies to leptospirosis and scrub typhus, respectively.
This observation indicates an association of leptospirosis and scrub typhus infection in sporadic cases of AES, besides other viruses.