Etiological characterization of acute undifferentiated febrile illness in Apartadó and Villeta municipalities, Colombia, during COVID-19 pandemic

Carlos Ramiro Silva-Ramos, Juliana Gil-Mora, Cristian C. Serna-Rivera, Heidy C. Martínez Díaz, Nicaela Restrepo-López, Piedad Agudelo-Flórez, Margarita Arboleda, Francisco J. Díaz, Álvaro A. Faccini-Martínez, Marylin Hidalgo, Peter C. Melby, Patricia V. Aguilar, Miguel M. Cabada, Alberto Tobón-Castaño, Juan David Rodas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Acute undifferentiated febrile illness (AUFI) is one of the leading causes of illness in tropical regions. Although malaria is the most important cause, other pathogens such as Dengue (DENV), Leptospira and re-cently, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have gained importance. In Colombia, few studies aimed to identify the etiology of AUFI. Most of them performed in Apartadó and Villeta municipalities, identifying the active circulation of several pathogens. Thus, we conducted a cross-sectional study in these municipalities to char-acterize the etiologies of AUFI during COVID-19 pan-demic. Methods: An active surveillance was conducted between September and December 2021 in local hospitals of Apartadó and Villeta municipalities. Febrile patients were enrolled after voluntarily agreeing to participate in the study. Ten different etiologies were evaluated through direct, serological, molecular and rapid diagnostic methods. Results: In Apartadó a confirmed etiology was found in 60% of subjects, DENV (25%) being the most frequent, followed by leptospirosis (16.7%), malaria (10%), CO-VID-19 (8.3%), spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiosis (6.7%) and Chikungunya (1.7%). In Villeta, a specific etiology was confirmed in 55.4% of patients, of which SFG rickettsiosis (39.3%) was the most frequent, followed by leptospirosis (21.4%), DENV (3.6%) and malaria (1.8%). No cases due to Mayaro, Yellow Fever, Oropouche and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis viruses were detected. Conclusion: We confirm the relevance of dengue fever, leptospirosis, SFG rickettsiosis, COVID-19 and malaria as causes of AUFI in the municipality of Apartadó, and highlight the great importance of SFG rickettsiosis as the main cause of AUFI in the municipality of Villeta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-532
Number of pages16
JournalInfezioni in Medicina
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Arbovirus
  • COVID-19
  • Leptospira
  • Malaria
  • Rickettsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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