High-resolution typing of Leptospira interrogans strains by multispacer sequence typing.
ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis which is responsible for the typical form of Weil's disease. The epidemiological surveillance of the Leptospira species agent is important for host prevalence control. Although the genotyping methods have progressed, the identification of some serovars remains ambiguous. We investigated the multispacer sequence typing (MST) method for genotyping strains belonging to the species Leptospira interrogans, which is the main agent of leptospirosis worldwide. A total of 33 DNA samples isolated from the reference strains of L. interrogans serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae, Australis, Canicola, and Grippotyphosa, which are the most prevalent serogroups in France, were analyzed by both the variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) and MST methods. An MST database has been constructed from the DNA of these reference strains to define the MST profiles. The MST profiles corroborated with the VNTR results. Moreover, the MST analysis allowed the identification at the serovar level or potentially to the isolate level for strains belonging to L. interrogans serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae, which then results in a higher resolution than VNTR (Hunter-Gaston index of 0.94 versus 0.68). Regarding L. interrogans serogroups Australis, Canicola, and Grippotyphosa, the MST and VNTR methods similarly identified the genotype. The MST method enabled the acquisition of simple and robust results that were based on the nucleotide sequences. The MST identified clinical isolates in correlation with the reference serovar profiles, thus permitting an epidemiological surveillance of circulating L. interrogans strains, especially for the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup, which includes the most prevalent strains of public health interest.
Project description:Comparative genomic hybridization was used to compare genetic diversity of five strains of Leptospira (Leptospira interrogans serovars Bratislava, Canicola, and Hebdomadis and Leptospira kirschneri serovars Cynopteri and Grippotyphosa). The array was designed based on two available sequenced Leptospira reference genomes, those of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni and L. interrogans serovar Lai. A comparison of genetic contents showed that L. interrogans serovar Bratislava was closest to the reference genomes while L. kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa had the least similarity to the reference genomes. Cluster analysis indicated that L. interrogans serovars Bratislava and Hebdomadis clustered together first, followed by L. interrogans serovar Canicola, before the two L. kirschneri strains. Confirmed/potential virulence factors identified in previous research were also detected in the tested strains.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis is one of the most important neglected tropical bacterial diseases worldwide. However, there is limited information on the genetic diversity and host selectivity of pathogenic Leptospira in wild small mammal populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Jiangxi Province, located in southern China, is a region highly endemic for leptospirosis. In this study, among a total of 3,531 trapped rodents dominated by Apodemus agrarius (59.7%), 330 Leptospira strains were successfully isolated from six different sites in Jiangxi between 2002 and 2015. Adding 71 local strains from humans, various kinds of livestock and wild animals in Jiangxi, a total of 401 epidemic strains were characterized using 16S rRNA gene senquencing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Among them, the most prevalent serogroup was Icterohaemorrhagiae (61.10%), followed by Javanica (19.20%) and Australis (9.73%); the remaining five serogroups, Canicola, Autumnalis, Grippotyphosa, Hebdomadis and Pomona, accounted for 9.97%. Species identification revealed that 325 were L. interrogans and 76 were L. borgpetersenii. Moreover, L. interrogans was the only pathogenic species in Fuliang and Shanggao and was predominant in Shangrao (95.0%); L. borgpetersenii was the most common in the remaining three sites. Twenty-one sequence types (STs) were identified. Similarly, ST1 and serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae were most prevalent in Shangrao (86.0% and 86.4%) and Fuliang (90.4% and 90.4%), ST143 and serogroup Javanica in Shangyou (88.5% and 90.4%) and Longnan (73.1% and 73.1%), and ST105 and serogroup Australis in Shanggao (46.3% and 56.1%). Serogroup Icterohaemorhagiae primarily linked to A. agrarius (86.9%), serogroup Canicola to dogs (83.3%). There were significant differences in the distribution of leptospiral species/serogroups/STs prevalence across host species/collected locations among the 394 animal-associated strains (Fisher's exact test, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our study demonstrated high genetic diversity of pathogenic Leptospira strains from wild small animals in Jiangxi from 2002 to 2015. A. agrarius was the most abundantly trapped animal reservoir, and serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae and ST1 were the most dominant in Jiangxi. Significant geographic variation and host diversity in the distribution of dominant species, STs and serogroups were observed. Moreover, rat-to-human transmission might play a crucial role in the circulation of Leptospirosis in Jiangxi. Details of the serological and molecular characteristics circulating in this region will be essential in implementing prevention and intervention measures to reduce the risk of disease transmission in China. However, phylogenetic analysis of more Leptospira isolates should explore the impact of ecological change on leptospirosis transmission dynamics and investigate how such new knowledge might better impact environmental monitoring for disease control and prevention at a public health level.
Project description:White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are commonly exposed to disease agents that affect livestock but environmental factors that predispose deer to exposure are unknown for many pathogens. We trapped deer during winter months on two study areas (Northern Forest and Eastern Farmland) in Wisconsin from 2010 to 2013. Deer were tested for exposure to six serovars of Leptospira interrogans (grippotyphosa, icterohaemorrhagiae, canicola, bratislava, pomona, and hardjo), bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV-1 and BVDV-2), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (IBR), and parainfluenza 3 virus (PI3). We used logistic regression to model potential intrinsic (e.g., age, sex) and extrinsic (e.g., land type, study site, year, exposure to multiple pathogens) variables we considered biologically meaningful to exposure of deer to livestock pathogens. Deer sampled in 2010-2011 did not demonstrate exposure to BVDV, so we did not test for BVDV in subsequent years. Deer had evidence of exposure to PI3 (24.7%), IBR (7.9%), Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona (11.7%), L. i. bratislava (1.0%), L. i. grippotyphosa (2.5%) and L. i. hardjo (0.3%). Deer did not demonstrate exposure to L. interrogans serovars canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae. For PI3, we found that capture site and year influenced exposure. Fawns (n = 119) were not exposed to L. i. pomona, but land type was an important predictor of exposure to L. i. pomona for older deer. Our results serve as baseline exposure levels of Wisconsin white-tailed deer to livestock pathogens, and helped to identify important factors that explain deer exposure to livestock pathogens.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonosis with global impact, particularly among vulnerable populations in resource-poor settings in tropical countries. Rodents have been considered to be the main reservoir of the disease; however, a wide variety of mammals can act as hosts as well. Here we examine the genetic diversity of Leptospira strains from biological samples of patients and animals in French Polynesia (FP) from 2011 to 2019. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:From 2011 to 2019, we have collected 444 blood samples from patients diagnosed as having leptospirosis. The limited volume of clinical material and low amount of leptospiral DNA in blood samples led us to develop a nested PCR targeting the secY locus that enabled us to amplify and sequence 244 samples (55%). In addition, 20 Leptospira strains recovered from the blood of patients from 2002 to 2011 were sequenced and fully characterized at the serogroup level and used as reference strains for the association of different phylogenetic branches with respective serogroups. The secY sequences were compared with publicly available sequences from patients and animal reservoirs in FP (n = 79). We identified rats as the main source of infection for L. borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum and L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, dogs as the main source of infection for L. interrogans serogroup Australis, and farm pigs as the main source of infection for L. interrogans serogroups Pomona or Canicola. L. interrogans was associated with the most severe infections with 10 and 5 fatal cases due to serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae and Australis, respectively. Mortality was significantly associated with older age (p-value < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:We described the population dynamics of leptospires circulating among patients in FP, including two patients who were reinfected with unrelated Leptospira genotypes, and clarified the local role of the animal reservoirs in the transmission route of leptospirosis to humans. Routine Leptospira genotyping directly on biological samples should allow the epidemiological follow-up of circulating strains and assess the impact of control interventions on disease transmission.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Leptospirosis is a re-emerging bacterial zoonosis caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Severe disease has been reported in dogs in Europe despite vaccination with bivalent Leptospira vaccines. Recently, a tetravalent canine Leptospira vaccine (Nobivac® L4) was licenced in Europe. The goal of this study was to investigate clinical signs, microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titres, haematology, blood biochemistry, cardiac (c) Troponin I levels and echocardiography before and after vaccination with this tetravalent vaccine. Forty-eight healthy dogs were prospectively enrolled and vaccinated twice, 3-4 weeks apart (T0 and T1). Before vaccination (T0) and 16-31 days after the second vaccination (T2), MAT (n = 48), haematology (n = 48), blood biochemistry (n = 36) and cTroponin I measurements (n = 29) were performed, and MAT was repeated 347-413 days after the second vaccination (T3, n = 44). Echocardiography was performed before the first and second vaccination (T0 and T1, n = 24).<h4>Results</h4>Mild and transient clinical signs within 5 days following the first and second vaccination occurred in 23% and 10% of the dogs, respectively. Before the first vaccination (T0), all dogs showed negative MAT titres for the tested serovars except for Canicola (50% with titres 100-400). At T2, positive MAT titres to the serovars Canicola (100%), Australis (89%), Grippotyphosa (86%), Bratislava (60%), Autumnalis (58%), Copenhageni (42%), Pomona (12%), Pyrogenes (8%) and Icterohaemorrhagiae (2%) were found. Median to high titres (? 400) were most common to the serovar Canicola (92%) and less common to the serovars Australis (41%), Grippotyphosa (21%), Bratislava (12%), Autumnalis (4%), Pyrogenes (4%) and Pomona (2%). At T3, positive MAT titres (titre range: 100-400) were found in 2-18% of the dogs to serovars of the vaccine serogroups and in 2-18% of the dogs to the non-vaccine serovars Pomona, Autumnalis, Pyrogenes and Ballum. Haematology, blood biochemistry, cTroponin I levels and echocardiography results did not change significantly following vaccination.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Clinical signs following vaccination with Nobivac® L4 were transient and mild in all cases. Seroconversion differed considerably among individual dogs and among the vaccine serogroups.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospira is the causative agent of leptospirosis. The O-antigen is the distal part of the lipopolysaccharide, which is a key component of outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and confers serological specificity. The epidemiology and clinical characteristics of leptospirosis are relative to the serology based taxonomic unit. Identification of Leptospira strains by serotyping is laborious and has several drawbacks. RESULTS: In this study, the O-antigen gene clusters of four epidemic Leptospira serogroups (serogroup Canicola, Autumnalis, Grippotyphosa and Hebdomadis) in China were sequenced and all genes were predicted in silico. Adding published sequences of two serogroups, Icterohaemorrhagiae (strain Lai and Fiocruz L1-130) and Sejroe (strain JB197 and L550), we identified six O-antigen-specific genes for six epidemic serogroups in China. PCR assays using these genes were developed and tested on 75 reference strains and 40 clinical isolates. CONCLUSION: The results show that the PCR-based assays can be reliable and alternative means for rapid typing of these six serogroups of Leptospira.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis has long been a major public health concern in the southwestern Indian Ocean. However, in Madagascar, only a few, old studies have provided indirect serological evidence of the disease in humans or animals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a large animal study focusing on small-mammal populations. Five field trapping surveys were carried out at five sites, from April 2008 to August 2009. Captures consisted of Rattus norvegicus (35.8%), R. rattus (35.1%), Mus musculus (20.5%) and Suncus murinus (8.6%). We used microbiological culture, serodiagnosis tests (MAT) and real-time PCR to assess Leptospira infection. Leptospira carriage was detected by PCR in 91 (33.9%) of the 268 small mammals, by MAT in 17 of the 151 (11.3%) animals for which serum samples were available and by culture in 9 of the 268 animals (3.3%). Rates of infection based on positive PCR results were significantly higher in Moramanga (54%), Toliara (48%) and Mahajanga (47.4%) than in Antsiranana (8.5%) and Toamasina (14%) (p?=?0.001). The prevalence of Leptospira carriage was significantly higher in R. norvegicus (48.9%), S. murinus (43.5%) and R. rattus (30.8%) than in M. musculus (9.1%) (p<0.001). The MAT detected antibodies against the serogroups Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae. Isolates were characterized by serology, secY sequence-based phylogeny, partial sequencing of rrs, multi-locus VNTR analysis and pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The 10 isolates obtained from nine rats were all identified as species L. interrogans serogroup Canicola serovar Kuwait and all had identical partial rrs and secY sequences. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We present here the first direct evidence of widespread leptospiral carriage in small mammals in Madagascar. Our results strongly suggest a high level of environmental contamination, consistent with probable transmission of the infection to humans. This first isolation of pathogenic Leptospira strains in this country may significantly improve the detection of specific antibodies in human cases.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a neglected zoonotic disease of worldwide public health importance. The disease affects humans, domestic animals and wildlife. However, leptospirosis is challenging in its diagnosis in humans. Culture technique, which is time consuming, is not recommended for clinical diagnosis. For these reasons, serological and molecular techniques remain the test of choice. The major objective of this study was to explore the genetic characteristic of Leptospira species which are prevalent among agro-pastoralists living in Katavi-Rukwa Ecosystem, Tanzania.A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out in the Katavi-Region South-west, Tanzania between August, 2013 and November, 2014. A total of 267 participants were randomly recruited for the study. Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used to detect antibody against six Leptospira antigens including local serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae, Ballum, Grippotyphosa, Sejroe and reference serogroups Hebdomadis, and Australis. Samples with MAT titers???1:160 were scored as positive, samples with MAT titers ranging from 1:20 to 1:80 were scored as exposed to Leptospira, and absence of agglutination titers was scored as negative. All MAT positive samples, including the low titre samples were subjected to PCR using the respective 16S rRNA primers for the pathogenic and non-pathogenic species.Out of 267 samples tested, 80 (29.9 %) were positive with MAT. The major circulating leptospiral serogroups were Sejroe (15.7 %,), Icterohaemorrhagiae (8.9 %), Grippotyphosa (4.8 %), Hebdomadis (3.37 %), Australis (1.49 %) and Ballum (1.19 %). By using PCR, 33 (15.7 %) out of 210 samples were pathogenic Leptospira while no saprophytic Leptospira spp. was detected. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequences of Leptospira species which were obtained from this study were submitted to GenBank and acquired accession numbers KP313246 and KP313247. Phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequences revealed that species obtained from Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem clustered in the same group with several published pathogenic Leptospira specifically Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri. To the best of the authors' knowledge(,) this is the first study from Tanzania to confirm pathogenic Leptospira in human subjects using genomic typing technique.These findings provide ultimate evidence of pathogenic Leptospira species circulating among agro-pastoralists living in Katavi-Rukwa Ecosystem suggesting that active disease surveillance should be undertaken in order to achieve greater protection of the agro-pastoral communities in Tanzania.
Project description:Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola is one of the most important pathogenic serovars for the maintenance of urban leptospirosis. Even though it is considered highly adapted to dogs, serovar Canicola infection has already been described in other animals and even a few human cases. Here, we present the genomic characterisation of two Brazilian L. interrogans serovar Canicola strains isolated from slaughtered sows (L0-3 and L0-4) and their comparison with human strain Fiocruz LV133. It was observed that the porcine serovar Canicola strains present the genetic machinery to cause human infection and, therefore, represent a higher risk to public health. Both human and porcine serovar Canicola isolates also presented sequences with high identity to the Chinese serovar Canicola published plasmids pGui1 and pGui2. The plasmids identification in the Brazilian and Chinese serovar Canicola strains suggest that extra-chromosomal elements are one more feature of this serovar that was previously unnoticed.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a widespread systemic zoonosis, considered as reemerging in certain developing countries. Although the cross agglutinin absorption test is still considered the standard method for Leptospira identification, it presents several disadvantages. The aim of this study was to characterize Leptospira spp. isolated from various hosts by genotyping and broth microdilution susceptibility testing in an attempt to differentiate Leptospira species, serogroups and serovars. Forty-seven isolates were studied. They were previously serotyped, and species confirmation was performed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Single-enzyme amplified fragment length polymorphism (SE-AFLP) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis enabled the distinction of L. interrogans from L. santarosai, L. meyeri and L. borgpetersenii in two main clusters. Among L. interrogans, it was possible to differentiate into two new clusters the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae from the serogroups Canicola and Pomona. L. santarosai isolates presented higher genetic variation than the other species in both techniques. Interestingly, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) cluster analysis also provided Leptospira serogroup differentiation. Further studies are necessary regarding serovar Bananal isolates, as they presented the highest MIC values for most of the antimicrobials tested. All studied techniques successfully distinguished Leptospira species and serogroups. Despite being library-dependent methods, these approaches are less labor intensive and more economically viable, particularly SE-AFLP, and can be implemented in most reference laboratories worldwide to enable faster Leptospira typing.