Nav: Home

Cattle may spread leptospirosis in Africa, study suggests

June 07, 2018

The bacterial infection leptospirosis is increasingly recognized as an important cause of fever in Africa. Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have analyzed the major risk factors for contracting leptospirosis and discovered that rice and cattle farming are associated with acute infection.

Leptospirosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira, causes a wide range of symptoms and can lead to serious complications include kidney and liver problems. In one study conducted in northern Tanzania, 8.8% of people with severe fevers had leptospirosis. Scientists know that animals can carry leptospirosis and lead to its spread throughout the environment or directly to humans. However, the major animal reservoirs and modes of transmission have not been well described.

In the new work, Michael Maze of the University of Otago, New Zealand, and colleagues enrolled people with fever from two hospitals in Moshi, Tanzania from 2012 through 2014. Each participant was tested for leptospirosis, and administered a survey on risk behaviors over the past 30 days, including exposure to livestock, rodents, and surface water.

The researchers identified 24 acute cases of leptospirosis, 252 people positive for lower levels of Leptospira bacteria (seropositivity), and 592 controls. Rice farming, cleaning cattle waste, feeding cattle and farm work were all positively associated with acute leptospirosis. Smallholder farming-- which may be associated with substantial exposure to both livestock and rodents--as well as frequent sightings of rodents in one's kitchen or food store-- was associated with seropositivity.

"Our findings suggest that control of Leptospira infection in livestock could play a role in preventing human leptospirosis in Africa," the researchers say.
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0006372

Citation: Maze MJ, Cash-Goldwasser S, Rubach MP, Biggs HM, Galloway RL, et al. (2018) Risk factors for human acute leptospirosis in northern Tanzania. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12(6): e0006372.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006372

Funding: This work was supported by the joint US National Institutes of Health (NIH:http://www.nih.gov)-National Science Foundation (NSF:http://www.nsf.gov) Ecology of Infectious Disease program (R01TW009237) and the Research Councils UK, Department for International Development (UK) and UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC:http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk) (grant numbers BB/J010367/1, BB/L018926, BB/L017679, BB/L018845), and in part by an US National Institutes of Health International Studies on AIDS Associated Co-infections (ISAAC) award (grant number U01 AI062563) and in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Typhoid Fever Surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa Program (TSAP) grant (grant number OPPGH5231).

Michael Maze received support from University of Otago scholarships: the Frances G. Cotter Scholarship and the MacGibbon Travel Fellowship. Shama Cash-Goldwasser and Matthew P. Rubach received support from National Institutes of Health Research Training Grants (grant numbers R25 TW009337 and R25 TW009343) funded by the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Mental Health. Holly M. Biggs received support from the National Institutes of Health Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS (grant number NIAID-AI007392). Katrina J. Allan received support from the Wellcome Trust (http://www.wellcome.ac.uk) (grantnumber 096400/Z/11/Z). Matthew P. Rubach, Venance P. Maro, Charles Muiruri, and John A. Crump received support from a US National Institutes of Health National Institute for Allergy and Infectious grant (grant number R01 AI121378). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Bacteria Articles:

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.
Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.
Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.
Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.
Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.
How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.
The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?
Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.
Bacteria uses viral weapon against other bacteria
Bacterial cells use both a virus -- traditionally thought to be an enemy -- and a prehistoric viral protein to kill other bacteria that competes with it for food according to an international team of researchers who believe this has potential implications for future infectious disease treatment.
Drug diversity in bacteria
Bacteria produce a cocktail of various bioactive natural products in order to survive in hostile environments with competing (micro)organisms.
More Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.