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      Comment on “Leptospirosis Renal Disease: Emerging Culprit of Chronic Kidney Disease Unknown Etiology”

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          Leptospirosis Renal Disease: Emerging Culprit of Chronic Kidney Disease Unknown Etiology

           Chih-Wei Yang (corresponding) (2018)
          Leptospirosis is the most prevalent zoonosis affecting more than 1 million populations worldwide. Interestingly, leptospirosis endemic regions coincide with chronic kidney disease (CKD) hotspots largely due to flooding and agricultural overlaps. Acute leptospirosis induces multiple organ dysfunction including acute kidney injury and may predispose to CKD and end-stage renal disease, if not treated timely. Asymptomatic infection may carry the bacteria in the kidney and CKD progresses insidiously. Histologic finding of leptospirosis renal disease includes tubulointerstitial nephritis, interstitial fibrosis, and tubular atrophy. Proximal tubule dysfunction and hypokalemia are observed in adult male workers with leptospirosis, a characteristic similarity to CKD unknown etiology (CKDu). CKDu is a form of CKD that is not attributable to traditional risk factors clustering in agricultural communities affecting young male farmers. Kidney pathology shows a chronic tubulointerstitial disease. CKDu is being reported as an endemic nephropathy across the globe. Recent surveys suggest that asymptomatic leptospira renal colonization is an overlooked risk for renal fibrosis and CKDu. Population with anti-leptospira seropositivity is associated with lower estimated glomerular filtration rate in endemic regions and carrier may progress to CKD. Leptospirosis has been considered as a risk factor for CKDu in Sri Lanka and in Mesoamerican area. Sugarcane workers in Nicaragua showed increased anti-leptospira seropositivity and higher urinary biomarkers for kidney injury. Emerging evidence with signs of infection were reported in these endemic population, indicating that leptospira exposure could play a role in CKDu as a cause of primary kidney disease or a susceptible factor when secondary injury such as heat stress or dehydration aggravates kidney disease. Therefore, leptospirosis as an emerging culprit of CKDu deserves further in-depth investigation.

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            August 2020
            06 July 2020
            : 144
            : 8
            : 386-387
            Nephrology Dialysis Renal Transplantation Department, Civic Hospital, Palermo, Italy
            Author notes
            *Gioacchino Li Cavoli, Nephrology Dialysis Renal Transplantation Department, Civic Hospital Palermo Italy, via Francesco Cilea 43, IT–90144 Palermo (Italy), gioacchinolicavoli@libero.it
            509003 Nephron 2020;144:386–387
            © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Page count
            Pages: 2
            Clinical Practice: Letter to the Editor

            Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology


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