Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Leptospirosis among Urban Workers in Sabah

Lead Researcher:

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Saffree Jeffree, UMS



Prof. Dr. Lela Haji Suut, UNIMAS

Prof. Dr. Kamruddin Ahmed, UMS

Dr. Mohd Rohaizat Hassan, UKM

Dr. Rafidah Binti Othman, UMS

Prof. Dr. Khamsiah Awang Lukman, UMS

Datuk Dr. Mohd Yusof Ibrahim, UMS


Project Summary

Assessment of the total leptospirosis burden in Sabah requires data concerning the industrial sectors. This study intended to determine the prevalence of leptospirosis and its associated risk factors as well as to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) level among the local urban service workers in Sabah. A cross-sectional study was done among 394 urban service workers recruited using universal sampling method. The samples were taken from February to March 2017 in Kota Kinabalu City Hall, Sabah after a prior pre-tested study among private cleaners in UMS and approved by the Medical Research Ethical Committee. Data on personal information, exposures, and KAP survey concerning leptospirosis were carried out by trained medical personnel using modified validated questionnaires. Blood samples were taken and sent to Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory to determine the seropositivity through microscopic agglutination test (MAT). SPSS version 22.0 was used to analyse the relationship between factors obtained and leptospirosis seropositivity using Pearson Chi-Square test for categorical data and T-test for continuous data. The final response rate was 91.6% which gives an overall seroprevalence of leptospirosis of 45.4% (95% CI: 40.6 – 50.4). The garbage collector, town sweeper, and lorry driver contributed the highest proportion among the seropositive respondent with 36.3%, 19.0%, and 10.6% respectively. The significant risk factors were the mean age of 43.9 (SD 9.4) days, job category, and drained cleaner. There was no association between environmental elements as well as the knowledge, attitude, and practice with seropositive leptospirosis. There was high seropositive of leptospirosis among urban service workers in Sabah. The study provides the baseline data for the public health personnel and policymakers to evaluate the existing programs of leptospirosis control among the high-risk occupation.