Experts in leptospirosis meet in Brasilia


Brasilia, 14 april 2013 (PAHO/WHO) - About 20 international experts from 13 countries as well as 40 national experts from more than 15 states participated in the Global Leptospirosis Environmental Action Network (GLEAN) meeting, which was held at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Country Office in Brasilia, Brazil from March 12th to 14th, 2013.

GLEAN is an initiative devoted to the fight against leptospirosis, which brings together experts from different disciplines and sectors with the objective to orient knowledge regarding the disease prediction, prevention, detection and intervention; and to transform relevant research findings into operational tools for affected communities and countries, as well as for organizations.

The host of this meeting was the Secretariat of Health Surveillance/Ministry of Health of Brazil; organized with the support of WHO and PAHO. During the meeting were presented operational research that are taking place worldwide in the area of leptospirosis, involving different disciplines related to public, animal and environmental health; as well as updates in the production of diagnostic tests and vaccines as tools to combat this disease. In addition, GLEAN activities for the next years were defined in the four established working groups: predict, detect, prevent and intervene.

Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of epidemic potential that is among the top 10 events of infectious nature (top 10 infectious hazard) recorded globally in the events management system that supports the International Health Regulations. Outbreaks of leptospirosis are often reported after heavy rainfall and flooding and the WHO estimates that more than 500,000 cases occur annually worldwide.