Assessment of animal hosts of pathogenic Leptospira in northern Tanzania

Allan, K. J. et al. (2018) Assessment of animal hosts of pathogenic Leptospira in northern Tanzania. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12(6), e0006444. (doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0006444) (PMID:29879104) (PMCID:PMC5991636)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:JEBH, VPM, JAC, and SC also received support from the Research Councils UK and UK Department for International Development. JAC and VPM also received support from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Science Foundation (NSF) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease program (R01TW009237; https://www.fic.nih.gov/programs/pages/ecology-infectious-diseases.aspx). MM received support from the BBSRC East of Scotland Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (http://www.eastscotbiodtp.ac.uk/). MJM received support from a University of Otago Frances G. Cotter Scholarship and a University of Otago MacGibbon PhD Travel Fellowship (http://www.otago.ac.nz/). VPM and JAC received support from the US National Institutes of Health National Institute for Allergy and Infectious (grant number R01 AI121378; https://www.niaid.nih.gov/).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Allan, Dr Kathryn and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Carter, Mr Ryan and Halliday, Dr Joanna
Authors: Allan, K. J., Halliday, J. E.B., Moseley, M., Carter, R. W., Ahmed, A., Goris, M. G.A., Hartskeerl, R. A., Keyyu, J., Kibona, T., Maro, V. P., Maze, M. J., Mmbaga, B. T., Tarimo, R., Crump, J. A., and Cleaveland, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1935-2727
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Allan et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12(6):e0006444
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.582

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
573981Leptospirosis in Tanzania; a study of the role of rodents in an emerging public health problem.Sarah CleavelandWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)096400/Z/11/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
568221Impact, ecology and social determinants of bacterial zoonoses in northern TanzaniaSarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J010367/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
627871Social, economic and environmental drivers of zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ)Sarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018926/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
628341Hazards associated with zoonotic enteric pathogens in emerging livestock meat pathways (HAZEL)Ruth ZadoksBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L017679/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
628321Molecular epidemology of brucellosis in northern TanzaniaDaniel HaydonBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018845/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED