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
(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.
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