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Animals 2014, 4(4), 612-626; doi:10.3390/ani4040612

Leptospira spp. in Domestic Cats from Different Environments: Prevalence of Antibodies and Risk Factors Associated with the Seropositivity

1
Graduate School, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, P.O. Box 567, Chile
2
Preventive Veterinary Medicine Department, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, P.O. Box 567, Chile
3
Biochemistry and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, P.O. Box 567, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoonotic Diseases of Companion Animals)
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Simple Summary

Although Leptospira infection occurs in domestic cat populations, studies on leptospirosis are very limited in felines and the role of cats in the epidemiology of this zoonosis has not received much attention. The present work is an epidemiologic study intended to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies and risk factors related with the seropositivity in cats from urban and rural environments. A higher prevalence in rural cats was detected (25.2%) compared with urban animals (1.8%). Characteristics of the habitat of the animals and some agricultural activities performed by cat’s owners were found to be risk factors associated with the seropositivity.

Abstract

Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural environments in southern Chile (1) to detect domestic cats with serologic evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp.; (2) to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies; (3) to describe seroprevalences according to different characteristics of the animals, and (4) to identify risk factors associated with the seropositivity in the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). Blood samples were taken from 124 owned cats. A frequentist and Bayesian approach were applied for prevalence estimation. The overall apparent prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies was 8.1% (95% Confident Interval = 3.9–4.3). With the Bayesian approach, the overall True Prevalence (TP) was 5.2% (95% Credibility Interval (CrI) = 0.6–12.4). The TP for urban cats was 1.8% (95% CrI = 0.1–7.2) and the TP for rural felines was 25.2% (95% CrI = 9.3–46.6). Cats that live in a place where agricultural activities are performed with water that flows in streams or backwater and cats that live in places near flooded areas had a higher risk of seropositivity in MAT. The exposure to Leptospira spp. in domestic cats of urban and rural origin in Southern Chile is a public health concern that requires an increased awareness and the implementation of preventive measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: Leptospira spp.; anti-Leptospira antibodies; cats; urban and rural environments; microscopic agglutination test; prevalence; risk factors Leptospira spp.; anti-Leptospira antibodies; cats; urban and rural environments; microscopic agglutination test; prevalence; risk factors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Azócar-Aedo, L.; Monti, G.; Jara, R. Leptospira spp. in Domestic Cats from Different Environments: Prevalence of Antibodies and Risk Factors Associated with the Seropositivity. Animals 2014, 4, 612-626.

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