Title : Seroprevalence of leptospiral antibodies in domestic dogs and cats attending to municipal sterilization campaigns, Santa Fe, Argentina (2022)
Domestic dogs and cats may act as epidemiological links between environments contaminated with pathogenic Leptospira and humans. The province of Santa Fe, Argentina, is endemic for leptospirosis and presents epidemic outbreaks during floods. However, few studies have evaluated leptospiral infection in asymptomatic dogs and cats from this region. The aims of our study were: (a) to assess seroprevalence of leptospiral antibodies in asymptomatic dogs and cats attending municipal spaying/neutering campaigns,(b) to evaluate factors that can increase the probabilities of infection, and (c) to identify potential spatial clusters of infection.
We conducted a cross-sectional serosurvey between May and December of 2022 in public spaying/neutering campaigns in Santa Fe city, Argentina. Domestic dogs and cats over six months of age, without symptoms of febrile illness and no leptospirosis vaccination in the previous 6-12 months were considered as eligible. We obtained a blood sample of 1.5-3 ml, according to the size of the animal to evaluate the presence of anti-Leptospira antibodies by microagglutination test (MAT) using a panel of 10 reference strains. Data was analyzed at the individual level using mixed-effects logistic regression models to assess potential risk factors of seropositivity in dogs and cats. Data was also aggregated to the census tract level to conduct a spatial analysis using mixed-effects generalized additive models (GAMM) with a Poisson distribution to predict potential areas of high seropositivity.
We analyzed 110 dogs and 84 cats and found a seroprevalence of 17.3% and 3.6%, respectively. Seropositivity in dogs was significantly associated with street access (P=0.036). Spatial analysis revealed a significant association with the % of houses without sewage systems and detected a potential cluster of seroprevalence in a riverside slum with high levels of unsatisfied basic needs (NBI). The results of our study Sample Abstract Template could be of use to develop public and veterinary health strategies aimed at increasing awareness of the exposure of pets to this infection in veterinary practices, expanding the coverage of leptospirosis vaccination in dogs, as well as promoting responsible pet caretaking.
Audience Take Away:
- The results of this study could be useful to identify urban areas with a higher susceptibility to leptospiral infection in domestic dogs and cats.
- Our results also will be of use to reinforce public health and veterinary strategies aimed at preventing infection with Leptospira in both animals and humans.
- The incorporation of cat serum samples and both host-related and environmental/sociodemographic characteristics will improve the design of cross-sectional and cohort studies aimed to detect the presence of pathogenic leptospires and other zoonotic diseases in dogs and cats from urban areas.