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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Factors associated with differential seropositivity to Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira kirschneri in a high transmission urban setting for leptospirosis in Brazil

de Oliveira, Daiana; Khalil, Hussein; . Palma, Fabiana Almerinda G.; Santana, Roberta; Nery Jr, Nivison; Quintero-Velez, Juan C.; Zeppelini, Caio Graco; do Sacramento, Gielson Almeida; Cruz, Jaqueline S.; Lustosa, Ricardo; Ferreira, Igor Santana; Carvalho-Pereira, Ticiana; Diggle, Peter J.; Wunder Jr, Elsio A.; Ko, Albert, I; Lopez, Yeimi Alzate; Begon, Mike; Reis, Mitermayer G.; Costa, Federico


Background Leptospirosis is a zoonosis caused by pathogenic species of bacteria belonging to the genus Leptospira. Most studies infer the epidemiological patterns of a single serogroup or aggregate all serogroups to estimate overall seropositivity, thus not exploring the risks of exposure to distinct serogroups. The present study aims to delineate the demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors associated with seropositivity of Leptospira serogroup Icterohaemorraghiae and serogroup Cynopteri in an urban high transmission setting for leptospirosis in Brazil. Methods/Principal findings We performed a cross-sectional serological study in five informal urban communities in the city of Salvador, Brazil. During the years 2018, 2020 2021, we recruited 2.808 residents and collected blood samples for serological analysis using microagglutination assays. We used a fixed-effect multinomial logistic regression model to identify risk factors associated with seropositivity for each serogroup. Seropositivity to Cynopteri increased with each year of age (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.01-1.06) and was higher in those living in houses with unplastered walls (exposed brick) (OR 1.68; 95% CI 1.09-2.59) and where cats were present near the household (OR 2.00; 95% CI 1.03-3.88). Seropositivity to Icterohaemorrhagiae also increased with each year of age (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.01-1.03) and was higher in males (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.09-2.10), in those with work-related exposures (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.10-2.66) or who had contact with sewage (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.00-2.03). Spatial analysis showed differences in distribution of seropositivity to serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae and Cynopteri within the five districts where study communities were situated. Conclusions/Significance Our data suggest distinct epidemiological patterns associated with the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Cynopteri serogroups in the urban environment at high risk for leptospirosis and with differences in spatial niches. We emphasize the need for studies that accurately identify the different pathogenic serogroups that circulate and infect residents of low-income areas.

Published in

2024, Volume: 18, number: 5, article number: e0011292

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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