The prevalence and risk factors associated with Leptospira in donkeys in Ngaka Modiri Molema District, North West Province, South Africa
Daddy, K.Kiayima.; Mwanza, M.; Oguttu, J.Wabwire.; Ngoma, L.
Veterinary World 13(9): 2020-2027
ISSN/ISBN: 0972-8988 PMID: 33132620 Accession: 071061755
Background and Aim: Leptospirosis is one of the major emerging global economic and health problems affecting donkeys, thereby reducing their work output. Furthermore, the disease has public health importance because of its zoonotic nature. Despite the significant contribution donkeys make to the national economy, less attention is given to diseases that afflict donkeys and reduce their productivity and performance. A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the seroprevalence of Leptospira and identify risk factors associated with the occurrence of the disease among donkeys in the study area. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey was used to collect the following data: Demographic, environmental, management, and health-related factors. Blood samples were aseptically collected from 365 randomly selected donkeys from 19 villages. The sera were tested using the microscopic agglutination test. Categorical variables were summarized and presented as proportions and their 95% confidence interval (CI). A binary logistic regression model was fitted to the data to identify risk factors associated with Leptospira seroprevalence in donkeys within the study areas. Results: The majority of the donkeys (29.6%; n=108/365) were from Mafikeng local municipality, and the rest (19.7%; n=72/365) were from Ratlou. Just over half (58.1%; n=212/365) of the donkeys tested were female, and the remaining (41.9%; n=153/365) were males. In addition, most donkeys (42.7%; n=156/365) were between 6 and 12 years old, followed by those between 0 and 5 years (37%; n=135/365), and only 20.3% (n=74/365) were above 12 years. Out of the donkeys tested, 11.5% (95% CI: 4.86-18.14) donkeys tested positive for Leptospira antibodies. The most common serovar was Bratislava (81%; n=34/42), followed by Tarassovi (19.04%; n=8/42). While gender was positively associated with seroprevalence of the disease (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]=4.88; p=0.0001), the presence of horses (AOR=0.226; p=0.002) and agricultural activities (AOR=0.093; p=0.0001) in the vicinity of the dwellings of the donkeys were negatively associated with Leptospira seropositivity in the study area. Conclusion: Findings reported here show that donkeys in the study area are reservoirs for the predominant serovar Bratislava and the less dominant serovar Tarassovi. The gender of the donkey was a risk factor for Leptospira seroprevalence. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of agricultural activities in the vicinity of the dwellings of donkeys on the occurrence of Leptospira in the study area.