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Seroepidemiology of leptospirosis in dogs and rats in Trinidad

Seroepidemiology of leptospirosis in dogs and rats in Trinidad

Tropical Biomedicine 31(4): 853-861

Stray dogs (n=207), suspected canine cases of leptospirosis (n=50) and rats (n=200) from the Caribbean island of Trinidad were subjected to the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) for leptospirosis. The seroprevalence in stray dogs was 15.5% (n=32), the predominant serogroup was Icterohaemorrhagiae (14.5%; n=30) with agglutinations to serovars Copenhageni at 5.8%, Icterohaemorrhagiae at 4.8%, Mankarso at 3.9%. The seroprevalence among suspected canine cases was 72% (n=36) with Icterohaemorrhagiae again being the predominant serogroup at 60% inclusive of serovars: Copenhageni, 44%; Mankarso, 14%; and Icterohaemorrhagiae 2%. A seroprevalence of 16.5% was determined in rats, all agglutinations were to the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup (inclusive of serovars Copenhageni, 9.5%; Icterohaemorrhagiae, 5.5%; and Mankarso, 1.5%). Overall serovar Copenhageni was the most common serovar as 11.6% of all the animal species tested by the MAT were positive and may be an important zoonotic serovar in Trinidad. The titres of infecting serovars of Leptospira in suspected canine cases of leptospirosis were considerably higher than that found in stray dogs and in rats where the lowest titres were found. Age and sex were not significant risk factors except in the case of rats where age was significant, indicating that juvenile rats were at a significantly higher risk. There was no definite pattern of the distribution of positive animals or the serovars when using the MAT. Data obtained in the current study indicate that dogs and rats in Trinidad have the potential to be sources of leptospiral infections for humans. This potential has public health implications making it imperative to control rat and stray dog populations in the island to reduce the risk of human leptospirosis.

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Accession: 058831892

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PMID: 25776612

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