Molecular Detection and Typing of Pathogenic Leptospira in Febrile Patients and Phylogenetic Comparison with Leptospira Detected among Animals in Tanzania.
ABSTRACT: Molecular data are required to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of leptospirosis in Africa and to identify sources of human infection. We applied molecular methods to identify the infecting Leptospira species and genotypes among patients hospitalized with fever in Tanzania and compared these with Leptospira genotypes detected among animals in Tanzania to infer potential sources of human infection. We performed lipL32 real-time PCR to detect the presence of pathogenic Leptospira in acute-phase plasma, serum, and urine samples obtained from study participants with serologically confirmed leptospirosis and participants who had died with febrile illness. Leptospira blood culture was also performed. In positive specimens, we performed species-specific PCR and compared participant Leptospira secY sequences with Leptospira reference sequences and sequences previously obtained from animals in Tanzania. We detected Leptospira DNA in four (3.6%) of 111 participant blood samples. We detected Leptospira borgpetersenii (one participant, 25.0%), Leptospira interrogans (one participant, 25.0%), and Leptospira kirschneri (one participant, 25.0%) (one [25%] undetermined). Phylogenetic comparison of secY sequence from the L. borgpetersenii and L. kirschneri genotypes detected from participants was closely related to but distinct from genotypes detected among local livestock species. Our results indicate that a diverse range of Leptospira species is causing human infection. Although our analysis suggests a close relationship between Leptospira genotypes found in people and livestock, continued efforts are needed to obtain more Leptospira genetic material from human leptospirosis cases to help prioritize Leptospira species and genotypes for control.
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:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis has gained much attention in Sri Lanka since its large outbreak in 2008. However, most of the cases were clinically diagnosed and information on Leptospira genotypes and serotypes currently prevailing in the country is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We retrospectively analyzed 24 Leptospira strains from human patients as well as isolated and characterized three Leptospira strains from black rats using the microscopic agglutination test with antisera for 19 serovars and multilocus sequence typing. The isolates were identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii sequence types (STs) 143 and 144; L. interrogans STs 30, 34, 43, 44, 74, 75, 80, 308, 313, 314, 316, and 317; and L. kirschneri ST318. Six of the 15 STs were identified for the first time in this study. Five serogroups such as Autumnalis, Grippotyphosa, Hebdomadis, Javanica, and Pyrogenes were detected among the isolates. Contrary to previous studies, various genotypes including novel STs were isolated during an outbreak in Southern Province. L. borgpetersenii serogroup Javanica ST143 was isolated both from a human and black rat. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This study revealed that genetically diverse Leptospira strains currently circulate in Sri Lanka: some genotypes have been circulating and others have emerged recently, which may explain the recent surge of leptospirosis patients with varying clinical manifestations and frequent outbreaks of leptospirosis. Black rats were identified as the source of infection for humans, but reservoir animals for other genotypes remain unknown.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Leptospirosis is the most common bacterial zoonoses and has been identified as an important emerging global public health problem in Southeast Asia. Rodents are important reservoirs for human leptospirosis, but epidemiological data is lacking.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We sampled rodents living in different habitats from seven localities distributed across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia), between 2009 to 2010. Human isolates were also obtained from localities close to where rodents were sampled. The prevalence of Leptospira infection was assessed by real-time PCR using DNA extracted from rodent kidneys, targeting the lipL32 gene. Sequencing rrs and secY genes, and Multi Locus Variable-number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) analyses were performed on DNA extracted from rat kidneys for Leptospira isolates molecular typing. Four species were detected in rodents, L. borgpetersenii (56% of positive samples), L. interrogans (36%), L. kirschneri (3%) and L. weilli (2%), which were identical to human isolates. Mean prevalence in rodents was approximately 7%, and largely varied across localities and habitats, but not between rodent species. The two most abundant Leptospira species displayed different habitat requirements: L. interrogans was linked to humid habitats (rice fields and forests) while L. borgpetersenii was abundant in both humid and dry habitats (non-floodable lands).<h4>Conclusion/significance</h4>L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii species are widely distributed amongst rodent populations, and strain typing confirmed rodents as reservoirs for human leptospirosis. Differences in habitat requirements for L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii supported differential transmission modes. In Southeast Asia, human infection risk is not only restricted to activities taking place in wetlands and rice fields as is commonly accepted, but should also include tasks such as forestry work, as well as the hunting and preparation of rodents for consumption, which deserve more attention in future epidemiological studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is one of the most important neglected tropical bacterial diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, very little is known about the circulating etiological agents of leptospirosis in this region. In this study, we describe the serological and molecular features of leptospires isolated from 104 leptospirosis patients in Guadeloupe (n?=?85) and Martinique (n?=?19) and six rats captured in Guadeloupe, between 2004 and 2012. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Strains were studied by serogrouping, PFGE, MLVA, and sequencing 16SrRNA and secY. DNA extracts from blood samples collected from 36 patients in Martinique were also used for molecular typing of leptospires via PCR. Phylogenetic analyses revealed thirteen different genotypes clustered into five main clades that corresponded to the species: L. interrogans, L. kirschneri, L. borgpetersenii, L. noguchi, and L. santarosai. We also identified L. kmetyi in at least two patients with acute leptospirosis. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that this species has been identified in humans. The most prevalent genotypes were associated with L. interrogans serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae and Copenhageni, L. kirschneri serovar Bogvere, and L. borgpetersenii serovar Arborea. We were unable to identify nine strains at the serovar level and comparison of genotyping results to the MLST database revealed new secY alleles. CONCLUSIONS: The overall serovar distribution in the French West Indies was unique compared to the neighboring islands. Typing of leptospiral isolates also suggested the existence of previously undescribed serovars.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a global zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Leptospira. We sought to determine if rodents in U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are carriers of Leptospira. In total, 140 rodents were sampled, including 112 Mus musculus and 28 Rattus rattus. A positive carrier status was identified for 64/140 (45.7%); 49 (35.0%) were positive by dark-field microscopy, 60 (42.9%) by culture, 63 (45.0%) by fluorescent antibody testing, and 61 (43.6%) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). Molecular typing indicated that 48 isolates were L. borgpetersenii and 3 were L. kirschneri; the remaining nine comprised mixed species. In the single culture-negative sample that was rtPCR positive, genotyping directly from the kidney identified L. interrogans. Serotyping of L. borgpetersenii isolates identified serogroup Ballum and L. kirschneri isolates as serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. These results demonstrate that rodents are significant Leptospira carriers and adds to understanding the ecoepidemiology of leptospirosis in USVI.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a growing public and veterinary health concern caused by pathogenic species of Leptospira. Rapid and reliable laboratory tests for the direct detection of leptospiral infections in animals are in high demand not only to improve diagnosis but also for understanding the epidemiology of the disease. In this work we describe a novel and simple TaqMan-based multi-gene targeted real-time PCR approach able to detect and differentiate Leptospira interrogans, L. kirschneri, L. borgpeteresenii and L. noguchii, which constitute the veterinary most relevant pathogenic species of Leptospira. The method uses sets of species-specific probes, and respective flanking primers, designed from ompL1 and secY gene sequences. To monitor the presence of inhibitors, a duplex amplification assay targeting both the mammal ?-actin and the leptospiral lipL32 genes was implemented. The analytical sensitivity of all primer and probe sets was estimated to be <10 genome equivalents (GE) in the reaction mixture. Application of the amplification reactions on genomic DNA from a variety of pathogenic and non-pathogenic Leptospira strains and other non-related bacteria revealed a 100% analytical specificity. Additionally, pathogenic leptospires were successfully detected in five out of 29 tissue samples from animals (Mus spp., Rattus spp., Dolichotis patagonum and Sus domesticus). Two samples were infected with L. borgpetersenii, two with L. interrogans and one with L. kirschneri. The possibility to detect and identify these pathogenic agents to the species level in domestic and wildlife animals reinforces the diagnostic information and will enhance our understanding of the epidemiology of leptopirosis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Leptospirosis is a highly endemic bacterial zoonosis in French Polynesia (FP). Nevertheless, data on the epidemiology of leptospirosis in FP are scarce. We conducted molecular studies on Leptospira isolated from humans and the potential main animal reservoirs in order to identify the most likely sources for human infection.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Wild rats (n = 113), farm pigs (n = 181) and domestic dogs (n = 4) were screened for Leptospira infection in Tahiti, the most populated island in FP. Positive samples were genotyped and compared to Leptospira isolated from human cases throughout FP (n = 51), using secY, 16S and LipL32 sequencing, and MLST analysis. Leptospira DNA was detected in 20.4% of rats and 26.5% of pigs. We identified two Leptospira species and three sequence types (STs) in animals and humans: Leptospira interrogans ST140 in pigs only and L. interrogans ST17 and Leptospira borgpetersenii ST149 in humans and rats. Overall, L. interrogans was the dominant species and grouped into four clades: one clade including a human case only, two clades including human cases and dogs, and one clade including human cases and rats. All except one pig sample showed a unique L. interrogans (secY) genotype distinct from those isolated from humans, rats and dogs. Moreover, LipL32 sequencing allowed the detection of an additional Leptospira genotype in pigs, clearly distinct from the previous ones.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Our data confirm rats as a major potential source for human leptospirosis in FP. By contrast to what was expected, farm pigs did not seem to be a major reservoir for the Leptospira genotypes identified in human patients. Thus, further investigations will be required to determine their significance in leptospirosis transmission in FP.
Project description:The extent of Leptospira infection in large ruminants resulting to economic problems in livestock industry in a leptospirosis-endemic country like the Philippines has not been extensively explored. Therefore, we determined the prevalence and carrier status of leptospirosis in large ruminants using molecular techniques and assessed the risk factors of acquiring leptospirosis in these animals. Water buffalo and cattle urine samples (n=831) collected from 21 farms during 2013-2015 were subjected to flaB-nested PCR to detect pathogenic Leptospira spp. Leptospiral flaB was detected in both species with a detection rate of 16.1%. Leptospiral DNA was detected only in samples from animals managed in communal farms. Sequence analysis of Leptospira flaB in large ruminants revealed the formation of three major clusters with L. borgpetersenii or L. kirschneri. One farm contained Leptospira flaB sequences from all clusters identified in this study, suggesting this farm was the main source of leptospires for other farms. This study suggested that these large ruminants are infected with various pathogenic Leptospira species causing possible major economic loss in the livestock industry as well as potential Leptospira reservoirs that can transmit infection to humans and other animals in the Philippines.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Leptospirosis is an important but neglected bacterial zoonosis that has been largely overlooked in Africa. In this systematic review, we aimed to summarise and compare current knowledge of: (1) the geographic distribution, prevalence, incidence and diversity of acute human leptospirosis in Africa; and (2) the geographic distribution, host range, prevalence and diversity of Leptospira spp. infection in animal hosts in Africa. METHODS:Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched for studies that described (1) acute human leptospirosis and (2) pathogenic Leptospira spp. infection in animals. We performed a literature search using eight international and regional databases for English and non-English articles published between January 1930 to October 2014 that met out pre-defined inclusion criteria and strict case definitions. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:We identified 97 studies that described acute human leptospirosis (n = 46) or animal Leptospira infection (n = 51) in 26 African countries. The prevalence of acute human leptospirosis ranged from 2 3% to 19 8% (n = 11) in hospital patients with febrile illness. Incidence estimates were largely restricted to the Indian Ocean islands (3 to 101 cases per 100,000 per year (n = 6)). Data from Tanzania indicate that human disease incidence is also high in mainland Africa (75 to 102 cases per 100,000 per year). Three major species (Leptospira borgpetersenii, L. interrogans and L. kirschneri) are predominant in reports from Africa and isolates from a diverse range of serogroups have been reported in human and animal infections. Cattle appear to be important hosts of a large number of Leptospira serogroups in Africa, but few data are available to allow comparison of Leptospira infection in linked human and animal populations. We advocate a 'One Health' approach to promote multidisciplinary research efforts to improve understanding of the animal to human transmission of leptospirosis on the African continent.
Project description:Leptospirosis is one of the most widespread zoonoses in the world and with over 260 pathogenic serovars there is an urgent need for a molecular system of classification. The development of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) schemes for Leptospira spp. is addressing this issue. The aim of this study was to identify loci with potential to enhance Leptospira strain discrimination by sequencing-based methods.We used bioinformatics to evaluate pre-existing loci with the potential to increase the discrimination of outbreak strains. Previously deposited sequence data were evaluated by phylogenetic analyses using either single or concatenated sequences. We identified and evaluated the applicability of the ligB, secY, rpoB and lipL41 loci, individually and in combination, to discriminate between 38 pathogenic Leptospira strains and to cluster them according to the species they belonged to. Pairwise identity among the loci ranged from 82.0-92.0%, while interspecies identity was 97.7-98.5%. Using the ligB-secY-rpoB-lipL41 superlocus it was possible to discriminate 34/38 strains, which belong to six pathogenic Leptospira species. In addition, the sequences were concatenated with the superloci from 16 sequence types from a previous MLST scheme employed to study the association of a leptospiral clone with an outbreak of human leptospirosis in Thailand. Their use enhanced the discriminative power of the existing scheme. The lipL41 and rpoB loci raised the resolution from 81.0-100%, but the enhanced scheme still remains limited to the L. interrogans and L. kirschneri species.As the first aim of our study, the ligB-secY-rpoB-lipL41 superlocus demonstrated a satisfactory level of discrimination among the strains evaluated. Second, the inclusion of the rpoB and lipL41 loci to a MLST scheme provided high resolution for discrimination of strains within L. interrogans and L. kirschneri and might be useful in future epidemiological studies.