Leptospirosis in the Republic of Korea: Historical perspectives, current status and future challenges

Min Ja Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Leptospirosis is an important public health problem in the Republic of Korea (ROK), occurring sporadically or in outbreaks during the autumn season. Wild rodents, Apodemus agrarius, have been mainly involved in human leptospirosis. The majority of carrier animals are infected with Leptospira interrogans serovar lai . The characteristic pulmonary involvement or hemorrhage may increase the clinical severity or result in fatal outcomes, and these aspects continue to be a threat to people in endemic areas. While the disease incidence has been relatively low in recent years, there have been newer findings of livestock (zoo animals and racing horses) and rats (Rattus norvegicus ) captured in urban environments as potential animal carriers. Many avenues of research are still open to define current changes in ecology, epidemiology, and the disease burden in both humans and animals in the ROK, together with global warming and climate change issues. In addition, national policy regarding the weighted wildlife monitoring system and the enhanced disease surveillance program is required to facilitate better monitoring and understanding of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Epidemiology
  • Leptospira
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • Reservoirs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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