Molecular detection and typing of pathogenic Leptospira in febrile patients and phylogenetic comparison with Leptospira detected among animals in Tanzania

Allan, K. J. et al. (2020) Molecular detection and typing of pathogenic Leptospira in febrile patients and phylogenetic comparison with Leptospira detected among animals in Tanzania. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 103(4), pp. 1427-1434. (doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0703) (PMID:32748767) (PMCID:PMC7543812)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Allan, Dr Kathryn and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah and Halliday, Dr Jo
Authors: Allan, K. J., Maze, M. J., Galloway, R. L., Rubach, M. P., Biggs, H. M., Halliday, J. E.B., Cleaveland, S., Saganda, W., Lwezaula, B. F., Kazwala, R. R., Mmbaga, B. T., Marro, V. P., and Crump, J. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publisher:American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
ISSN:0002-9637
ISSN (Online):1476-1645
Published Online:03 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
First Published:First published in American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 103(4):1427 - 1434
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.881

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190437Impact, ecology and social determinants of bacterial zoonoses in northern TanzaniaSarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J010367/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
190825Social, economic and environmental drivers of zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ)Sarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018926/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
190821Hazards associated with zoonotic enteric pathogens in emerging livestock meat pathways (HAZEL)Ruth ZadoksBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L017679/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
190785Molecular epidemology of brucellosis in northern TanzaniaDaniel HaydonBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018845/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
165842Leptospirosis in Tanzania; a study of the role of rodents in an emerging public health problem.Sarah CleavelandWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)096400/Z/11/ZInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine