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      Seroepidemiology of Leptospira infection in backyard pigs in Durango State, Mexico

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          Purpose: This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence and correlates of Leptospira IgG antibodies in backyard pigs in the northern Mexican state of Durango. We performed a cross-sectional study of 305 backyard pigs. Anti- Leptospira IgG antibodies were detected using microscopic agglutination assay (MAT) with a panel of 12 Leptospira antigens.

          Results: Overall, antibodies against Leptospira (any of the 12 Leptospira serovars examined) were found in 186 (61.0%) of the 305 pigs studied. Seropositive pigs were found on 80 (70.2%) of the 114 properties surveyed. The predominant serovar was Leptospira interrogans Pomona ( n = 55); followed by Leptospira noguchii Lousiana and Leptospira santarosai Tarassovi ( n = 53 each); L. interrogans Bataviae ( n = 47); Leptospira biflexa Semaranga and L. interrogans Hebdomadis ( n = 36 each); L. interrogans Pyrogenes ( n = 30); L. interrogans Djasiman ( n = 20); Leptospira borgpetersenii Ballum ( n = 11); L. noguchii Panama and L. interrogans Canicola ( n = 5 each); and L. borgpetersenii Mini ( n = 2). Logistic regression showed that seropositivity was associated with low (<1000 m above sea level) altitude (odds ratio [OR] = 3.24; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.01–5.20; P < 0.001).

          Conclusions: This is the first report of Leptospira exposure in backyard pigs in Mexico and of an association between Leptospira exposure in pigs and altitude. Backyard pigs represent a high-risk group for Leptospira exposure.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Leptospira and leptospirosis.

          Leptospirosis is the most wide spread zoonosis worldwide; it is present in all continents except Antarctica and evidence for the carriage of Leptospira has been found in virtually all mammalian species examined. Humans most commonly become infected through occupational, recreational, or domestic contact with the urine of carrier animals, either directly or via contaminated water or soil. Leptospires are thin, helical bacteria classified into at least 12 pathogenic and 4 saprophytic species, with more than 250 pathogenic serovars. Immunity following infection is generally, but not exclusively, mediated by antibody against leptospiral LPS and restricted to antigenically related serovars. Vaccines currently available consist of killed whole cell bacterins which are used widely in animals, but less so in humans. Current work with recombinant protein antigens shows promise for the development of vaccines based on defined protective antigens. The cellular and molecular basis for virulence remains poorly understood, but comparative genomics of pathogenic and saprophytic species suggests that Leptospira expresses unique virulence determinants. However, the recent development of defined mutagenesis systems for Leptospira heralds the potential for gaining a much improved understanding of pathogenesis in leptospirosis. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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            Pathogenic leptospires are the bacterial agents of leptospirosis, which is an emerging zoonotic disease that affects both animals and humans worldwide. In this Review, the recent advances in our understanding of the epidemiology, taxonomy, genomics and the molecular basis of virulence in leptospires, and of how these properties contribute to the pathogenesis of leptospirosis, are discussed.
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              Diagnosis and epidemiology of leptospirosis.

              Leptospirosis is a zoonosis found worldwide, the main reservoir of which is the rat. Human infection generally results from exposure to contaminated river or lake water or animals. Around 600 cases are diagnosed per year in France. Half of these cases occur in French overseas territories, where the incidence can be more than 100 times higher than in mainland France. Leptospirosis has been under-diagnosed because of non-specific symptoms, inadequate surveillance system, and lack of readily available quick and simple diagnostic tests. Most cases of leptospirosis are currently detected by PCR amplification of bacterial DNA from the blood during the first week after the onset of symptoms, or by detection of antibodies during the second week of the disease. More than 300 serovars have been identified among leptospires, including serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae, the most frequent in human infections. Leptospirosis remains a major public health issue in many developing countries, one century after discovering the causative agent. Leptospirosis is expected to become more important due to a rapid urbanization in developing countries (slums), global warming, and extreme climatic events (floods). Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier SAS.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                September 2018
                : 8
                : 3
                : 87-90
                [1 ]Laboratorio de Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Veracruzana , Miguel Ángel de Quevedo S/N, 91710, Veracruz, México
                [2 ]Biomedical Research Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Nutrition, Juárez University of Durango State , Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Mexico
                [3 ] Colegio Anglo-Español Durango , Avenida Real del Mezquital 92, 34199, Durango, Mexico
                [4 ] Centro de Medicina Tropical, Departamento de Medicina Experimental, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, Avenida Universidad 3000, Col. Universidad Nacional de México , C.P. 04510, Mexico
                [5 ] Institute for Scientific Research “Dr. Roberto Rivera Damm” , Juárez University of Durango State, Avenida Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Mexico
                Author notes

                Author for correspondence: Faculty of Medicine and Nutrition, Av. Universidad S/N, 34000 Durango, Dgo, Mexico; alvaradocosme@ ; +52-618-8130527

                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes - if any - are indicated.

                Page count
                Pages: 4
                Original Research Paper


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