Seroprevalence, Risk Factors, and Rodent Reservoirs of Leptospirosis in an Urban Community of Puerto Rico, 2015.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The burden of leptospirosis in Puerto Rico remains unclear due to underreporting. METHODS:A cross-sectional survey and rodent trapping was performed in a community within San Juan, Puerto Rico to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for Leptospira infection. The microscopic agglutination test was used to detect anti-Leptospira antibodies as a marker of previous infection. We evaluated Leptospira carriage by quantitative polymerase chain reaction among rodents trapped at the community site. RESULTS:Of 202 study participants, 55 (27.2%) had Leptospira agglutinating antibodies. Among the 55 seropositive individuals, antibodies were directed most frequently against serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae (22.0%) and Autumnalis (10.6%). Of 18 captured rodents, 11 (61.1%) carried pathogenic Leptospira (Leptospira borgpetersenii, 7 and Leptospira interrogans, 2). Four participants showed their highest titer against an isolate obtained from a rodent (serogroup Ballum). Increasing household distance to the canal that runs through the community was associated with decreased risk of infection (odds ratio = 0.934 per 10-meter increase; 95% confidence interval, .952-.992). CONCLUSIONS:There are high levels of Leptospira exposure in an urban setting in Puerto Rico, for which rodents may be an important reservoir for transmission. Our findings indicate that prevention should focus on mitigating risk posed by infrastructure deficiencies such as the canal.
Project description:Rodents play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic Leptospira spp. However, in Angola, neither the natural reservoirs of these spirochetes nor leptospirosis diagnosis has been considered. Regarding this gap, we captured rodents in Luanda and Huambo provinces to identify circulating Leptospira spp. Rodent kidney tissue was cultured and DNA amplified and sequenced. Culture isolates were evaluated for pathogenic status and typing with rabbit antisera; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were also performed. A total of 37 rodents were captured: Rattus rattus (15, 40.5%), Rattus norvegicus (9, 24.3%), and Mus musculus (13, 35.2%). Leptospiral DNA was amplified in eight (21.6%) kidney samples. From the cultures, we obtained four (10.8%) Leptospira isolates belonging to the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Ballum serogroups of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii genospecies, respectively. This study provides information about circulating leptospires spread by rats and mice in Angola.
Project description:Rodents are the main reservoir animals of leptospirosis. In this study, we characterized and quantified the urinary excretion dynamics of Leptospira by Mus musculus infected with 2 × 108 virulent Leptospira borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum. Each micturition was collected separately in metabolic cages, at 12 time points from 7 to 117 days post-infection (dpi). We detected Leptospira in all urine samples collected (up to 8 per time point per mouse) proving that Leptospira excretion is continuous with ca. 90% live L. borgpetersenii Ballum, revealed by viability quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Microscopic visualization by Live/Dead fluorescence confirmed this high proportion of live bacteria and demonstrated that L. borgpetersenii Ballum are excreted, at least partly, as bacterial aggregates. We observed two distinct phases in the excretion dynamics, first an increase in Leptospira concentration shed in the urine between 7 and 63 dpi followed by a plateau phase from 63 dpi onward, with up to 3 × 107Leptospira per mL of urine. These two phases seem to correspond to progressive colonization of renal tubules first, then to stable cell survival and maintenance in kidneys. Therefore, chronically infected adult mice are able to contaminate the environment via urine at each micturition event throughout their lifetime. Because Leptospira excretion reached its maximum 2 months after infection, older rodents have a greater risk of contaminating their surrounding environment.
Project description:Hantaviruses, Leptospira spp., and Babesia spp. are rodent-borne pathogens present worldwide. We studied multiple co-infections of small rodents in Croatia with all three pathogens. Twenty-eight Apodemus flavicollis and 16 Myodes glareolus were tested for the presence of hantavirus RNA by real-time RT-PCR, Leptospira strains by renoculture method and Babesia DNA by PCR. Anti-hantavirus antibodies and anti-Leptospira antibodies were detected by serological methods. Very high infection rates with each pathogen were found in A. flavicollis: 20 of 28 rodents (71%) were infected with Dobrava virus, 13 rodents (46%) were infected with Leptospira, and 5 rodents (18%) were infected with Babesia. Multiple co-infections with all three pathogens were found in 3 of 28 (11%) A. flavicollis animals, suggesting that the same rodent host can be infected with several pathogens at the same time. Dual infections with both hantaviruses and Leptospira were found in 7 of 44 rodents (16%), with hantaviruses and Babesia in 2 rodents (5%), and double infection with both Leptospira and Babesia were found in 1 rodent (2%). Since hantaviruses, Leptospira, and Babesia have similar geographical distributions, it is to be expected that in other parts of the world multiple co-infections, representing a serious threat to public health, can be found.
Project description:A sustained outbreak of leptospirosis occurred in northeast Thailand between 1999 and 2003, the basis for which was unknown.A prospective study was conducted between 2000 and 2005 to identify patients with leptospirosis presenting to Udon Thani Hospital in northeast Thailand, and to isolate the causative organisms from blood. A multilocus sequence typing scheme was developed to genotype these pathogenic Leptospira. Additional typing was performed for Leptospira isolated from human cases in other Thai provinces over the same period, and from rodents captured in the northeast during 2004. Sequence types (STs) were compared with those of Leptospira drawn from a reference collection. Twelve STs were identified among 101 isolates from patients in Udon Thani. One of these (ST34) accounted for 77 (76%) of isolates. ST34 was Leptospira interrogans, serovar Autumnalis. 86% of human Leptospira isolates from Udon Thani corresponded to ST34 in 2000/2001, but this figure fell to 56% by 2005 as the outbreak waned (p = 0.01). ST34 represented 17/24 (71%) of human isolates from other Thai provinces, and 7/8 (88%) rodent isolates. By contrast, 59 STs were found among 76 reference strains, indicating a much more diverse population genetic structure; ST34 was not identified in this collection.Development of an MLST scheme for Leptospira interrogans revealed that a single ecologically successful pathogenic clone of L. interrogans predominated in the rodent population, and was associated with a sustained outbreak of human leptospirosis in Thailand.
Project description:West Indian land mammals have suffered the most severe extinctions of any Holocene mammal faunas. However, 'last-occurrence' dates based on radiometric or robust stratigraphic data remain unavailable for most West Indian species, making it impossible to identify factors responsible for these extinctions. Here, we present new radiometric dates from archaeological and palaeontological sites on Puerto Rico, the only Greater Antillean island to have lost all native land mammals. Although it has been suggested that these species died out earlier than other West Indian mammals, we demonstrate that Puerto Rican mammal last-occurrence dates are in close agreement with those from other Antillean islands, as several species in fact persisted for millennia following Amerindian arrival. Echimyid rodents and nesophontid 'island-shrews' were still present on Puerto Rico approximately 1000 years BP, and probably became extinct following European arrival. The large (13kg) heptaxodontid rodent Elasmodontomys obliquus also appears to have survived for over 2000 years after Amerindian colonization, suggesting that at least some large West Indian mammals became extinct in protracted pre-European 'sitzkrieg'-style events rather than 'blitzkrieg'-style overkill.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease and a serious, under-reported public health problem, particularly in rural areas of Tanzania. In the Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem, humans, livestock and wildlife live in close proximity, which exposes them to the risk of a number of zoonotic infectious diseases, including leptospirosis.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out in the Katavi region, South-west Tanzania, to determine the seroprevalence of Leptospira spp in humans, domestic ruminants and wildlife. Blood samples were collected from humans (n = 267), cattle (n = 1,103), goats (n = 248), buffaloes (n = 38), zebra (n = 2), lions (n = 2), rodents (n = 207) and shrews (n = 11). Decanted sera were tested using the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) for antibodies against six live serogroups belonging to the Leptospira spp, with a cutoff point of ? 1:160. The prevalence of leptospiral antibodies was 29.96% in humans, 30.37% in cattle, 8.47% in goats, 28.95% in buffaloes, 20.29% in rodents and 9.09% in shrews. Additionally, one of the two samples in lions was seropositive. A significant difference in the prevalence P<0.05 was observed between cattle and goats. No significant difference in prevalence was observed with respect to age and sex in humans or any of the sampled animal species. The most prevalent serogroups with antibodies of Leptospira spp were Sejroe, Hebdomadis, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagie and Australis, which were detected in humans, cattle, goats and buffaloes; Sejroe and Grippotyphosa, which were detected in a lion; Australis, Icterohaemorrhagie and Grippotyphosa, which were detected in rodents; and Australis, which was detected in shrews. Antibodies to serogroup Ballum were detected only in humans.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this study demonstrate that leptospiral antibodies are widely prevalent in humans, livestock and wildlife from the Katavi-Rukwa ecosystem. The disease poses a serious economic and public health threat in the study area. This epidemiological study provides information on circulating serogroups, which will be essential in designing intervention measures to reduce the risk of 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:Leptospirosis is a neglected disease causing severe infections in humans and animals. Due in part to misdiagnosis, this infectious disease results in nearly 60,000 deaths per year around the globe. This study represents the first effort to describe the diversity of pathogenic Leptospira in Cuba based on whole-genome sequencing. We have collected nineteen whole-blood samples from patients that were diagnosed as having leptospirosis between 2008 and 2012 in Cuba. In addition, we have enhanced our sample set by three historical strains that were used for the development of a human vaccine in 1990s. The Leptospira strains were grown and serotyped by the microscopic agglutination test, and the draft genomes were generated by NGS (Illumina). Subsequently, the core genomes were analyzed and compared to the genetic data available from other Caribbean islands and countries in Central America. Core genome Multi-locus Sequence Typing (cgMLST) revealed four different core genome clonal groups (cgCGs), with the highest number of samples belonging to L. interrogans, followed by L. borgpetersenii and L. kirschneri. All cgCGs that were found in Cuba have been also identified from multiple origins across the globe, except in neighbor countries and Central America. Serotyping divided the samples into the serogroups Canicola, Ballum and Pomona. The most frequent cgCGs, cgCG28, associated with serogroup Canicola, and cgCG15, associated with serogroup Ballum, have also been identified from samples isolated from dogs, rodents, and pigs; suggesting that these hosts represent the major source of human infection in Cuba. The vaccine strains did not significantly differ from the recent patient isolates. However, the increasing prevalence of samples belonging to the serogroup Ballum combined with the fact that the available vaccine in Cuba represents inactivated Leptospira belonging to serogroups other than Ballum, should be a valuable information for the National and Regional Leptospirosis Control Programs.
Project description:Leptospirosis, an emerging infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira, is thought to be the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world. A first step in preventing the spread of Leptospira is delineating the animal reservoirs that maintain and disperse the bacteria. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) methods targeting the LipL32 gene were used to analyze kidney samples from 124 House mice (Mus musculus), 94 Black rats (Rattus rattus), 5 Norway rats (R. norvegicus), and 89 small Indian mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus) from five cattle farms in Puerto Rico. Renal carriage of Leptospira was found in 38% of the sampled individuals, with 59% of the sampled mice, 34% of Black rats, 20% of Norway rats, and 13% of the mongooses. A heterogeneous distribution of prevalence was also found among sites, with the highest prevalence of Leptospira-positive samples at 52% and the lowest at 30%. Comparative sequence analysis of the LipL32 gene from positive samples revealed the presence of two species of Leptospira, L. borgpetersenii and L. interrogans in mice, detected in similar percentages in samples from four farms, while samples from the fifth farm almost exclusively harbored L. interrogans. In rats, both Leptospira species were found, while mongooses only harbored L. interrogans. Numbers tested for both animals, however, were too small (n = 7 each) to relate prevalence of Leptospira species to location. Significant associations of Leptospira prevalence with anthropogenic landscape features were observed at farms in Naguabo and Sabana Grande, where infected individuals were closer to human dwellings, milking barns, and ponds than were uninfected individuals. These results show that rural areas of Puerto Rico are in need of management and longitudinal surveillance of Leptospira in order to prevent continued infection of focal susceptible species (i.e. humans and cattle).
Project description: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.