Special Issue "Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giovanni Cilia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Filippo Fratini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Viale delle Piagge 2, Università di Pisa (Italy)
Interests: bacterial infectious disease, zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance, wildlife
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Leptospirosis is a re-emerging and widespread zoonosis caused by Leptospira spp., a gram-negative bacterium. Leptospira spp have been divided into pathogenic, intermediate, and saprophytic, with different levels of pathogenicity for animals and humans. In particular, pathogenic Leptospira are responsible for mild to severe infections, while intermediate Leptospira could be a potentially pathogen-causing mild infection.

Leptospirosis is distributed worldwide due to a large variety of wild and domestic animal species that can play a role as natural or accidental hosts. Currently, specific animal species play an important role as a reservoir for peculiar Leptospira serovar, although recent investigations have highlighted new host–pathogen interactions involved in Leptospira epidemiology.

Furthermore, the constant modification of ecosystems and wildlife habitats and the constantly increasing number of animal species towards urban or peri-urban areas are increasing the possibility of direct or indirect contacts between wildlife and domestic animals. The constant modification of animal leptospirosis also causes problems for human health.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to investigate the role of wild and domestic animals in the epidemiology of leptospirosis.

You are invited to submit either an original article or a review summarizing different aspects of Leptospira infection. Articles highlighting and documenting any aspect of leptospirosis investigation in wild and domestic animals are welcome and will be taken into consideration for publication.

Dr. Giovanni Cilia
Dr. Fabrizio Bertelloni
Prof. Dr. Filippo Fratini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Leptospira
  • Leptospirosis
  • Pathology
  • Zoonosis
  • Wildlife
  • Infectious disease
  • Domestic animal

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Leptospira Infections in Domestic and Wild Animals
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070573 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a worldwide-distributed, re-emerging zoonosis due to the large variety of wild and domestic animal species that can play the role of natural or accidental host. Currently, specific animal species play an important role as the reservoir for particular Leptospira serovars, although [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is a worldwide-distributed, re-emerging zoonosis due to the large variety of wild and domestic animal species that can play the role of natural or accidental host. Currently, specific animal species play an important role as the reservoir for particular Leptospira serovars, although recent investigations have highlighted new host–pathogen interactions involved in Leptospira epidemiology. Furthermore, the constant modification of ecosystems and wildlife habitats and the constantly increasing number of animal species moving towards urban or peri-urban areas are increasing the possibility of direct or indirect contacts between wildlife and domestic animals; furthermore, the constant modification of animal leptospirosis also causes problems for human health. The studies published in this Special Issue have evidenced and confirmed the hidden role of a large variety of animal species, domestic and wild, in the leptospirosis epidemiology. They highlighted the necessity for continuous monitoring and large-scale surveillance studies to better understand this neglected and re-emerging zoonosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Risk of Leptospirosis in Animals: The Case of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060504 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic natural focal disease caused by the pathogenic bacteria Leptospira. Its spread is related to certain ecological factors. The aim of the current research was to assess potential exposure to the infection as a function of environmental determinants in the [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic natural focal disease caused by the pathogenic bacteria Leptospira. Its spread is related to certain ecological factors. The aim of the current research was to assess potential exposure to the infection as a function of environmental determinants in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation. We applied environmental niche modeling using leptospirosis cases in livestock and wild animals in 1995–2019 with regard to a set of landscape, climatic, and socioeconomic variables, both for the current climate and for the projected climate for 2041–2060. The MaxEnt model performed well (AUC = 0.930), with the mean temperature of the warmest quarter, mean diurnal range, land cover type, and altitude being the most contributing variables. Consequent zoning based on the proportion of high-risk cells within each administrative unit suggested that five out of the 36 districts of the Republic are at high risk in the current climate conditions, with three more districts expected to demonstrate a high risk by 2060. This study presents the first-ever attempt at leptospirosis ecological modeling in Russia. Its results correspond well to the findings of other authors and underline the importance of considering ecological factors when conducting a leptospirosis risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of New Leptospira Genotypes Infecting Symptomatic Dogs: Is a New Vaccine Formulation Needed?
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060484 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Leptospirosis in dogs has been largely described worldwide, and epidemiological studies have been mainly based on serological data. This study aims to detect and genotype leptospires affecting symptomatic dogs in Northeast Italy between 2013 and 2019. Overall, 1631 dogs were tested using real-time [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis in dogs has been largely described worldwide, and epidemiological studies have been mainly based on serological data. This study aims to detect and genotype leptospires affecting symptomatic dogs in Northeast Italy between 2013 and 2019. Overall, 1631 dogs were tested using real-time PCR, and leptospires from 193 dogs were subjected to Multilocus Sequence Typing and a Multiple Loci Variable-number Tandem Repeat Analysis. Leptospires were successfully isolated from 15 symptomatic dogs. Six distinct Sequence Types (STs) were found for 135 leptospires, with 3 STs characterizing Leptospira interrogans (ST17, ST198 and ST24), 2 STs characterizing Leptospira kirschneri (ST117 and ST289) and 1 ST characterizing Leptospira borgpetersenii (ST155), revealing the circulation of the serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae, Australis, Sejroe and Pomona. The Multiple Loci Variable-number Tandem Repeat Analysis of 17 samples did not result in any additional discrimination. Genotypes were compared with those of strains present in the historical internal database, and possible transmission chains were identified from rat, mouse, hedgehog and pig. This work highlights the importance of molecular methods in revealing and identifying circulating Leptospira strains, and it also encourages the evaluation of the ability of commercially available vaccines to reduce the disease burden among dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Leptospira Infection in African Green Monkeys in an Endemic Area: An Opportunity for Comparative Studies in a Natural Environment
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060474 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 620
Abstract
This study was performed to investigate the potential asymptomatic Leptospira reservoir status among African green monkeys (AGMs) in the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, and whether there is any renal pathology associated with Leptospira exposure. Forty-eight percent of AGMs tested were positive for [...] Read more.
This study was performed to investigate the potential asymptomatic Leptospira reservoir status among African green monkeys (AGMs) in the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, and whether there is any renal pathology associated with Leptospira exposure. Forty-eight percent of AGMs tested were positive for Leptospira antibodies by the microscopic agglutination test. Leptospira DNA was detected in 4% of kidney samples tested using a lipl32 gene based PCR. We observed minimal to severe microscopic renal lesions in 85% of the AGM kidneys evaluated. The majority of the AGMs (n = 26) had only minimal to mild interstitial nephritis and a few (n = 3) had moderate to severe lesions. The presence of interstitial nephritis was not significantly associated with Leptospira exposure. The presence of infected AGMs in a small surface limited geographic region may pose zoonotic threat to humans and animals. The impact of Leptospira infection in renal pathology in AGMs warrants further investigation. AGMs residing in a natural setting in an insular, surface limited Leptospira endemic geographic region may offer opportunities for comparative studies to advance the field of leptospirosis. Due to their similarity to humans, such studies in AGMs may also provide translational opportunities to advance Leptospira research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Laboratory Diagnosis of Bovine Abortions Caused by Non-Maintenance Pathogenic Leptospira spp.: Necropsy, Serology and Molecular Study Out of a Belgian Experience
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060413 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
Bovine leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp. The pathology and epidemiology of this infection are influenced by the numerous existing serovars and their adaptation to specific hosts. Infections by host-maintained serovars such as Hardjo are well documented, unlike [...] Read more.
Bovine leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp. The pathology and epidemiology of this infection are influenced by the numerous existing serovars and their adaptation to specific hosts. Infections by host-maintained serovars such as Hardjo are well documented, unlike those from the incidental ones. In July 2014, an emerging phenomenon of an increased incidence of icteric abortions associated with leptospiral infection occurred in southern Belgium. First-line serological analyses targeting cattle-adapted serovars failed at initial diagnosis. This study provides a comprehensive description of laboratory findings—at the level of necropsy, serology and molecular diagnosis—regarding icteric and non-icteric abortions (n = 116) recorded during this time (years 2014–2015) and associated with incidental infection by serovars such as Grippotyphosa, Australis and Icterohaemorrhagiae. Based on these tests, a diagnostic pathway is proposed for these types of infection in cattle to establish an affordable but accurate diagnosis in the future. These investigations add insights into the understanding of the pathogenesis of bovine leptospirosis associated with serovars classically described as non-maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Leptospira Survey in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) Hunted in Tuscany, Central Italy
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050377 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 944
Abstract
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging, worldwide zoonosis, and wild boar (Sus scrofa) are involved in its epidemiology as the reservoir. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Leptospira with serological, bacteriological, and molecular assays in wild boar hunted [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging, worldwide zoonosis, and wild boar (Sus scrofa) are involved in its epidemiology as the reservoir. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Leptospira with serological, bacteriological, and molecular assays in wild boar hunted in Tuscany (Italy) during two hunting seasons. In total, 287 specimens of sera, kidneys, and liver were collected to perform microscopic agglutination tests (MATs), isolation, and RealTime PCR to detect pathogenic (lipL32 gene), intermediate (16S rRNA gene), and saprophytic (23S rRNA gene) Leptospira. Within sera, 39 (13.59%) were positive to the MAT, and Australis was the most represented serogroup (4.88%), followed by Pomona (4.18%), and Tarassovi (3.14%). Moreover, four Leptospira cultures were positive, and once isolates were identified, one was identified as L. borgpetersenii serovar Tarassovi, and three as L. interrogans serovar Bratislava. Pathogenic Leptospira DNA were detected in 32 wild boar kidneys (11.15%). The characterization through the amplification of the rrs2 gene highlighted their belonging to L. interrogans (23 kidneys), L. borgpetersenii (four), and L. kirschneri (one), while nine kidneys (3.14%) were positive for intermediate Leptospira, all belonging to L. fainei. The results of this study confirmed the importance of wild boar in the epidemiology of leptospirosis among wildlife in Central Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Serogroups Australis and Icterohaemorrhagiae in Two Dogs with a Severe Form of Acute Leptospirosis in Italy
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050351 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 738
Abstract
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that causes serious illness in dogs. For this reason, epidemiological and clinical studies focusing on disease characterization are widely advocated. The aim of this study was to characterize the leptospires identified in dogs with confirmed symptomatic acute leptospirosis. [...] Read more.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that causes serious illness in dogs. For this reason, epidemiological and clinical studies focusing on disease characterization are widely advocated. The aim of this study was to characterize the leptospires identified in dogs with confirmed symptomatic acute leptospirosis. Leptospira spp. DNA detected in urine, blood, or both samples from nine infected dogs was analyzed using the multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) technique. Leptospires from two dogs were successfully typed: one was identified as belonging to Sequence Type (ST) 17 and one to ST198, both within the L. interrogans species, serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae and Australis, respectively. Based on the results of routine serologic tests, antibodies reactive toward these serogroups are commonly revealed in dogs in Italy. This study provides the first molecular analysis that identifies infecting Leptospira directly on DNA from biological samples of dogs, showing that serogroup Australis can lead to a severe clinical presentation of leptospirosis in infected dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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Open AccessArticle
Serological Survey and Molecular Typing Reveal New Leptospira Serogroup Pomona Strains among Pigs of Northern Italy
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9050332 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Swine act as both maintenance and incidental hosts of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Here, a serological test was performed on 131,660 pig sera collected between 2002 and 2017 from 4715 farms in Northern Italy. A positivity rate of 13.05% was determined. Australis was the [...] Read more.
Swine act as both maintenance and incidental hosts of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Here, a serological test was performed on 131,660 pig sera collected between 2002 and 2017 from 4715 farms in Northern Italy. A positivity rate of 13.05% was determined. Australis was the most frequently identified serogroup (77.29%), followed by Pomona (18.47%), Tarassovi (1.51%) and Icterohaemorrhagie (1.40%). Culture isolation and real-time Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were carried out on 347 kidneys and 470 clinical samples, respectively. Overall, 133 strains were cultured successfully and 43 randomly chosen isolates were identified as serogroup Pomona. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) revealed that 41 isolates and 8 DNA extracted from biological samples belonged to sequence type 140. Using a multiple-locus, variable-number tandem repeat analysis, 43 samples produced identical profiles but, after 2014, three new Leptospira interrogans serogroup Pomona genotypes were observed. Interestingly, two isolates showed new MLST profiles and an unclassified identification by monoclonal antibodies. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing clustered them into L. kirschneri species and a core genome MLST analysis revealed an allelic identity of 96% compared with Mozdok strains. Genotyping allowed us to discriminate leptospires and to identify new emerging strains. The accurate identification of infective strains is required for formulating preventive methods and intervention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospira infections in Domestic and Wild Animal)
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