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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 6666-6680; doi:10.3390/ijerph110706666

Leptospira Contamination in Household and Environmental Water in Rural Communities in Southern Chile

1
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S. Second St., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
2
Institute of Animal Pathology, Austral University of Chile, Valdivia, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
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Abstract

Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of global distribution that affects tropical and temperate areas. Under suitable conditions, Leptospira can survive in water and soil and contribute to human and animal infections. The objective of this study was to describe the presence of pathogenic Leptospira in peri-domestic water samples from rural households in southern Chile. Water samples, including puddles, containers, animal troughs, rivers, canals, and drinking water were collected from 236 households and tested for Leptospira using a PCR assay targeting the lipL32 gene. Evidence of Leptospira presence was detected in all sample types; overall, 13.5% (77/570) samples tested positive. A total of 10/22 (45.5%) open containers, 12/83 (14.5%) animal drinking sources, 9/47 (19.1%) human drinking sources, and 36/306 (19.3%) puddles tested positive. Lower income (OR = 4.35, p = 0.003), increased temperature (OR = 1.23, p < 0.001), and presence of dogs (OR = 15.9, p = 0.022) were positively associated with positive puddles. Increased number of rodent signs was associated with positive puddles in the household (OR = 3.22); however, only in the lower income households. There was no association between PCR positive rodents and puddles at the household level. Results revealed the ubiquity of Leptospira in the household environment and highlight the need to develop formal approaches for systematic monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leptospira; water; environment; PCR; rural Leptospira; water; environment; PCR; rural
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Muñoz-Zanzi, C.; Mason, M.R.; Encina, C.; Astroza, A.; Romero, A. Leptospira Contamination in Household and Environmental Water in Rural Communities in Southern Chile. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 6666-6680.

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