Journal Article

Acute Jaundice in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic

Khanthong Bounlu, Sithat Insisiengmay, Khemphet Vanthanouvong, Saykham, Susanna Widjaja, Kazushige Iinuma, Keiji Matsubayashi, Kanti Laras, Maidy P. Putri, Timothy P. Endy, David W. Vaughn, Boonyos Raengsakulrach, Kenneth C. Hyams, Mark Hayden, Christi Scheffel and Andrew L. Corwin

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 717-721
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514948
Acute Jaundice in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic

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Analysis of serum samples from patients with acute jaundice by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction testing provided the first profile of this condition in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in 1995 and 1996. In a case-control, hospital-based study, evidence of acute infections due to hepatitis A and B viruses was found in 14% and 10% of cases, respectively. Hepatitis E virus, however, did not appear to contribute to clinically recognized acute jaundice. Similarly, antibody to hepatitis C virus was recognized in almost equal proportions of cases (8%) and controls (6%), thus representing probable background infections. The detection of hepatitis G virus marks the first report of this virus in Lao PDR. The large proportion (21%) of new leptospiral infections in cases without acute hepatitis A or B was notable. This finding suggests significant regional underreporting of leptospirosis as a cause of acute jaundice. The limited laboratory diagnostic capabilities for confirming a differential diagnosis of leptospirosis contribute to the lack of attention paid to this important health problem.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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