First meeting of the Leptospirosis Burden Epidemiology Reference Group, Geneva, 2-4 December 2009

Report of the first meeting of the Leptospirosis Burden Epidemiology Reference Group

The Leptospirosis Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (LERG), convened as an advisory group to the Director-General of WHO, is tasked with quantifying and describing the leptospirosis burden in different populations, using summary measures of mortality and disability, such as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

The first meeting of the LERG was held on 2–4 December 2009.

The Group agreed to the proposed terms of reference, which included the following:

  • to assemble, appraise and report on currently existing burden of disease estimates for human leptospirosis;
  • to conduct epidemiological reviews of mortality, morbidity and disability due to human leptospirosis;
  • to develop models for the estimation of the disease burden of human leptospirosis where data are lacking; and
  • to identify technical gaps and priorities for research activities.

The LERG peer-reviewed a systematic literature review on human leptospirosis epidemiology, which had been carried out in advance of the meeting and requested some revisions. A disease definition and disease model for leptospirosis were proposed. The LERG recommended that a transmission model and risk map for leptospirosis should be prepared for review at the next meeting of the group on 22–24 September 2010.