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WCID 2024

Wei Jia Li

Wei Jia Li, Speaker at Infectious Disease Conference
Peking University, China
Title : Metagenomic next-generation sequencing for diagnosing severe leptospirosis in a patient suspected COVID-19: A case report


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic and neglected waterborne disease caused by the pathogenic helical spirochetes. Several significant risk factors, such as climate, occupation, urbanization, and poverty, can contribute to leptospirosis in humans. Symptoms of acute-phase leptospirosis include fever, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and chills, which significantly complicate diagnosis. Early diagnosis of leptospirosis remains challenging due to non-specific symptoms and the limited availability of rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests.

Herein, we present a case where a patient suspected of having COVID-19,in 2021,was diagnosed with leptospirosis combined with pulmonary hemorrhage and multiple organ failure using metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS). The patient complained of persistent pain in both lower limbs for 5 days, fever with dyspnea and hemoptysis for 1 day. Timely antibiotic therapy and systemic multiorgan function support were immediately administered, and the patient was cured following treatment. This case highlights the potential of mNGS to diagnose leptospirosis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audience Take Away: 

  • mNGS is beneficial for rapid diagnosis of unknown pathogens .We used it to accurately diagnose leptospirosis at an early stage.
  • During the epidemic period of infectious diseases, it can play a role in rapid identification and diagnosis, thereby saving isolation resources.
  • PCR followed by Sanger sequencing also support the diagnosis


Wei-Jia Li,MD, Vice Chief Physician, Intensive Care Unit, Peking University Shenzhen  Hospital, had published more than 3 papers.


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