Leptospira Serovars for Diagnosis of Leptospirosis in Humans and Animals in Africa: Common Leptospira Isolates and Reservoir Hosts.
ABSTRACT: The burden of leptospirosis in humans and animals in Africa is higher than that reported from other parts of the world. However, the disease is not routinely diagnosed in the continent. One of major factors limiting diagnosis is the poor availability of live isolates of locally circulating Leptospira serovars for inclusion in the antigen panel of the gold standard microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for detecting antibodies against leptospirosis. To gain insight in Leptospira serovars and their natural hosts occurring in Tanzania, concomitantly enabling the improvement of the MAT by inclusion of fresh local isolates, a total of 52 Leptospira isolates were obtained from fresh urine and kidney homogenates, collected between 1996 and 2006 from small mammals, cattle and pigs. Isolates were identified by serogrouping, cross agglutination absorption test (CAAT), and molecular typing. Common Leptospira serovars with their respective animal hosts were: Sokoine (cattle and rodents); Kenya (rodents and shrews); Mwogolo (rodents); Lora (rodents); Qunjian (rodent); serogroup Grippotyphosa (cattle); and an unknown serogroup from pigs. Inclusion of local serovars particularly serovar Sokoine in MAT revealed a 10-fold increase in leptospirosis prevalence in Tanzania from 1.9% to 16.9% in rodents and 0.26% to 10.75% in humans. This indicates that local serovars are useful for diagnosis of human and animal leptospirosis in Tanzania and other African countries.
Project description:Rats are considered the principal maintenance hosts of Leptospira. The objectives of this study were isolation and identification of Leptospira serovars circulating among urban rat populations in Kuala Lumpur. Three hundred urban rats (73% Rattus rattus and 27% R. norvegicus) from three different sites were trapped. Twenty cultures were positive for Leptospira using dark-field microscopy. R. rattus was the dominant carrier (70%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed that all isolates were pathogenic Leptospira species. Two Leptospira serogroups, Javanica and Bataviae, were identified using microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identified two serovars in the urban rat populations: L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica (85%) and L. interrogans serovar Bataviae (15%). We conclude that these two serovars are the major serovars circulating among the urban rat populations in Kuala Lumpur. Despite the low infection rate reported, the high pathogenicity of these serovars raises concern of public health risks caused by rodent transmission of leptospirosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic bacterial disease caused by infection with leptospires. Leptospirosis in humans and livestock is an endemic and epidemic disease in Thailand. Livestock may act as reservoirs for leptospires and source for human infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Data on leptospirosis infection in humans and livestock (Buffaloes, Cattle, and Pigs) species during 2010 to 2015 were analyzed. Serum samples were examined using Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) to identify antibodies against Leptospira serovars using a cut-off titer ? 1:100. The seroprevalence was 23.7% in humans, 24.8% in buffaloes, 28.1% in cattle, and 11.3% in pigs. Region specific prevalence among humans and livestock was found in a wide range. The most predominant serovars were Shermani, followed by Bratislava, Panama, and Sejroe in human, Shermani, Ranarum, and Tarassovi in buffaloes, and Shermani and Ranarum in cattle and pigs. Equally highest MAT titers against multiple serovars per one sample were found mainly in buffaloes and cattle showing equally titers against Ranarum and Shermani. The correlations of distribution of serovars across Thailand's regions were found to be similar in pattern for cattle but not for buffaloes. In humans, the serovar distribution in the south differed from other regions. By logistic regression, the results indicated that livestock is more susceptible to infection by serovar Shermani when compared to humans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This study gives a detailed picture of the predominance of Leptospira serovars in relation to region, humans and typical livestock. The broad spatial distribution of seroprevalence was analyzed across and within species as well as regions in Thailand. Our finding may guide public health policy makers to implement appropriate control measures and help to reduce the impact of leptospirosis in Thailand.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of global importance, especially in tropical countries. The current Leptospira spp. seroprevalence in cattle from central and northern Madagascar is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence resulting from infections with pathogenic Leptospira spp. in zebu cattle from these areas. Serum samples from 194 animals were tested by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) using a panel of 12 serovars as antigens. Samples with a titer of ≥1:100 were considered positive. The overall seroprevalence was 59.3% (95% CI; 52.0-66.2%) with titers ranging from 1:100 to 1:1600. Among the seropositive animals, the most frequent antibody reactions were against serovar L. Tarassovi (serogroup L. Tarassovi) with 40.2% (33.3-47.5%), followed by L. Hardjo (L. Sejroe) with 13.9% (9.5-19.8%), L. Grippotyphosa (L. Grippotyphosa) with 9.8% (6.2-15.1%), L. Pomona (L. Pomona) with 7.7% (4.5-12.7%) and L. Autumnalis (L. Autumnalis) with 5.2% (2.6-9.5%). Less than 5% of the samples reacted positively against the remaining serovars. These results indicate a very high exposure of Malagasy cattle to Leptospira spp. which, consequently, poses a definite risk for people working with cattle acquiring this zoonotic infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The burden of human leptospirosis in Uganda is unknown. We estimated the seroprevalence of Leptospira antibodies, probable acute/recent leptospirosis, and risk factors for seropositivity in humans in rural Western Uganda. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:359 non-pregnant adults visiting the Kikuube and Kigorobya Health Centers were sequentially recruited during March and April 2014. A health history survey and serum were collected from consented participants. Overall, 69% reported having fever in the past year, with 49% reporting malaria, 14% malaria relapse, 6% typhoid fever, 3% brucellosis, and 0% leptospirosis. We tested sera by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) against eight Leptospira serovars representing seven serogroups. Leptospira seroprevalence was 35% (126/359; 95%CI 30.2-40.3%) defined as MAT titer ? 1:100 for any serovar. The highest prevalence was against L. borgpetersenii Nigeria (serogroup Pyrogenes) at 19.8% (71/359; 95%CI 15.9-24.4%). The prevalence of probable recent leptospirosis (MAT titer ?1:800) was 1.9% (95%CI 0.9-4.2%) and uniquely related to serovar Nigeria (serogroup Pyrogenes). Probable recent leptospirosis was associated with having self-reported malaria within the past year (p = 0.048). Higher risk activities included skinning cattle (n = 6) with 12.3 higher odds (95%CI 1.4-108.6; p = 0.024) of Leptospira seropositivity compared with those who had not. Participants living in close proximity to monkeys (n = 229) had 1.92 higher odds (95%CI 1.2-3.1; p = 0.009) of seropositivity compared with participants without monkeys nearby. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The 35% prevalence of Leptospira antibodies suggests that exposure to leptospirosis is common in rural Uganda, in particular the Nigeria serovar (Pyrogenes serogroup). Leptospirosis should be a diagnostic consideration in febrile illness and "smear-negative malaria" in rural East Africa.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis, commonly known as rat-urine disease, is a global but endemic zoonotic disease in the tropics. Despite the historical report of leptospirosis in Malaysia, the information on human-infecting species is limited. Determining the circulating species is important to understand its epidemiology, thereby to strategize appropriate control measures through public health interventions, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS:We investigated the human-infecting Leptospira species in blood and serum samples collected from clinically suspected leptospirosis patients admitted to three tertiary care hospitals in Malaysia. From a total of 165 patients, 92 (56%) were confirmed cases of leptospirosis through Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) (n = 43; 47%), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (n = 63; 68%) or both MAT and PCR (n = 14; 15%). The infecting Leptospira spp., determined by partial 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequencing revealed two pathogenic species namely Leptospira interrogans (n = 44, 70%) and Leptospira kirschneri (n = 17, 27%) and one intermediate species Leptospira wolffii (n = 2, 3%). Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) identified an isolate of L. interrogans as a novel sequence type (ST 265), suggesting that this human-infecting strain has a unique genetic profile different from similar species isolated from rodents so far. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri were identified as the dominant Leptospira species causing human leptospirosis in Central Malaysia. The existence of novel clinically important ST 265 (infecting human), that is different from rodent L. interrogans strains cautions reservoir(s) of these Leptospira lineages are yet to be identified.
Project description:Leptospirosis is an emerging infectious disease of global significance, and is endemic in tropical countries, including Malaysia. Over the last decade, a dramatic increase of human cases was reported; however, information on the primary vector, the rat, and the Leptospira serovars circulating among the rat population is limited. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to isolate Leptospira and characterise the serovars circulating in the urban rat populations from selected main cities in Peninsular Malaysia.Rat trappings were carried out between October 2011 to February 2014 in five urban cities which were chosen as study sites to represent different geographical locations in Peninsular Malaysia. Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) and PCR were carried out to identify the Leptospiral serogroup and determine the pathogenic status of the isolates, respectively while pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR were used to characterize the isolates.Three rat species were identified from the three hundred and fifty seven rats captured with Rattus rattus, being the dominant rat species (285, 80 %) followed by Rattus norgevicus (53, 15 %) and Rattus exulans (19, 5 %). Only 39 samples (11.0 %) were positive by culture and further confirmed as pathogenic Leptospira by PCR. Significant associations were shown between host infection with locality, season, host-age and species. Based on MAT, two serogroups were identified in the population namely; L. borgpetersenii serogroup Javanica (n?=?16) and L. interrogans serogroup Bataviae (n?=?23). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) distinguished the two serovars in the urban rat populations: L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica (41 %), and L. interrogans serovar Bataviae (59 %). RAPD-PCR yielded 14 distinct patterns and was found to be more discriminative than PFGE.This study confirms two Leptospira serovars circulating among the urban rats population in Peninsular Malaysia namely; L. borgpetersenii serovar Javanica and L. interrogans serovars Bataviae. Despite the low number of isolates obtained from the rat population, this study suggests that rodent control programs and disease surveillance may help to reduce the possible risk of disease transmission.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial disease that affects more than one million people worldwide each year. Human infection is acquired through direct or indirect contact with the urine of an infected animal. A wide range of animals including rodents and livestock may shed Leptospira bacteria and act as a source of infection for people. In the Kilimanjaro Region of northern Tanzania, leptospirosis is an important cause of acute febrile illness, yet relatively little is known about animal hosts of Leptospira infection in this area. The roles of rodents and ruminant livestock in the epidemiology of leptospirosis were evaluated through two linked studies. A cross-sectional study of peri-domestic rodents performed in two districts with a high reported incidence of human leptospirosis found no evidence of Leptospira infection among rodent species trapped in and around randomly selected households. In contrast, pathogenic Leptospira infection was detected in 7.08% cattle (n = 452 [5.1-9.8%]), 1.20% goats (n = 167 [0.3-4.3%]) and 1.12% sheep (n = 89 [0.1-60.0%]) sampled in local slaughterhouses. Four Leptospira genotypes were detected in livestock. Two distinct clades of L. borgpetersenii were identified in cattle as well as a clade of novel secY sequences that showed only 95% identity to known Leptospira sequences. Identical L. kirschneri sequences were obtained from qPCR-positive kidney samples from cattle, sheep and goats. These results indicate that ruminant livestock are important hosts of Leptospira in northern Tanzania. Infected livestock may act as a source of Leptospira infection for people. Additional work is needed to understand the role of livestock in the maintenance and transmission of Leptospira infection in this region and to examine linkages between human and livestock infections.
Project description:Despite evidence of both human and animal Leptospira exposures in Uganda, the epidemiology of the disease is still not well-investigated. Contact with animals and their environments have been pointed out as potential source of infection with Leptospira species in humans; and cattle may be an important reservoir in Uganda. In this cross-sectional study, we estimated the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies by the standard microscopic agglutination test (MAT); and associated risk factors among slaughtered cattle. We also compared the performance of the MAT used in this study against a lipL32 based real time PCR (qPCR) assay previously conducted on the kidneys and urine of the same slaughter cattle as tested in this reported study. Of 500 cattle sampled, 27.8% (95% CI 23.9-32.0) tested positive (titer ? 100) to at least one Leptospira serovar, with the majority of seropositive cattle reacting to serovars Tarassovi (sg Tarassovi) (11.6%), Sejroe (Sg Sejroe) (7.8%), and Australis (Sg Australis) (5.2%). Older animals had 2.8 times (95% CI 1.0-8.2, p-value 0.055) greater odds of being seropositive than younger ones (<1.5 years). The sensitivity and specificity of the MAT over the qPCR were 65.9% (95% CI 50.1-79.5) and 75.9% (95% CI 71.7-79.7), respectively; with a negative predictive value of 95.8% and positive predictive value of 20.9%. In conclusion, slaughter cattle in this study were significantly exposed to pathogenic Leptospira species of mainly the Tarassovi, Sejroe, and Australis serogroups, with seroprevalence being higher among older cattle. The high specificity and negative predictive value of MAT as used in this study when compared to the qPCR assay may imply a rather strong association between seronegativity and absence of renal Leptospira infection. However, MAT predictability for renal Leptospira infection may be interpreted cautiously since predictive values of diagnostic tests are dependent on prevalence.
Project description:There is paucity of information on the prevalence of leptospirosis in wildlife in Nigeria. This study investigated the prevalence and renal pathology of leptospirosis in wild animals in Southwest Nigeria. One hundred and five kidney samples were examined from 10 different wildlife species (antelope) greater cane rat (GCR), hare, African giant rat (AGR), tree hyrax, civet cat, monitor lizard, python, bushbuck and partridge) using a combination of Ellinghausen McCullough Johnson Harris (EMJH) medium, microscopic agglutination test (MAT), Warthin- Starry silver stain (WSss) and immunohistochemistry. Chi-square test was used with confidence level set at 0.05 to ascertain associations between positive cases and sex and species. Eightytwo (78.1%) samples were culturally positive, while 67.7% (63/93), 57.0% (16/28) and 66.7% (8/12) were WSss, MAT and immunohistochemically positive, respectively. Interstitial nephritis (41.0%) and tubular nephrosis (81.0%) were the most prominent histopathological changes. Pathogenic Leptospira organisms were highest in GCR (32.1%) and antelope (14.3%). Serovars hardjo (11.54%), bratislava (3.9%), canicola (3.9%), icterohaemorrhagiae (15.4%), pomona (7.14%) gripptotyphosa (19.2%) and undetermined isolates were also detected in other animals. The result showed high prevalence of Leptospira infection in the wild and the possibility of domestic animals and humans contracting the disease. This study is the first documentation of evidence of pathogenic Leptospira species in wildlife in Nigeria.
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.