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:

Conducting shell for bacteria
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes.
Controlling bacteria's necessary evil
Until now, scientists have only had a murky understanding of how these relationships arise.
Bacteria take a deadly risk to survive
Bacteria need mutations -- changes in their DNA code -- to survive under difficult circumstances.
How bacteria hunt other bacteria
A bacterial species that hunts other bacteria has attracted interest as a potential antibiotic, but exactly how this predator tracks down its prey has not been clear.
Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store.
Stress may protect -- at least in bacteria
Antibiotics harm bacteria and stress them. Trimethoprim, an antibiotic, inhibits the growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli and induces a stress response.
'Pulling' bacteria out of blood
Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection.
New findings detail how beneficial bacteria in the nose suppress pathogenic bacteria
Staphylococcus aureus is a common colonizer of the human body.
Understanding your bacteria
New insight into bacterial cell division could lead to advancements in the fight against harmful bacteria.
Bacteria are individualists
Cells respond differently to lack of nutrients.

Related Bacteria Reading:

Bacteria: Staph, Strep, Clostridium, and Other Bacteria (Class of Their Own (Paperback))
by Judy Wearing (Author)

A Field Guide to Bacteria (Comstock Book)
by Betsey Dexter Dyer (Author)

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
by Ed Yong (Author)

Basic Medical Microbiology
by Patrick R. Murray PhD (Author)

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes
by Steve Mould (Author)

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Sebastian G.B. Amyes (Author)

Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th Edition
by Larry Snyder (Author), Joseph E. Peters (Author), Tina M. Henkin (Author), Wendy Champness (Author)

The Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science)
by Agnieszka Biskup (Author), Anne Timmons (Author), Matt Webb (Author), Krista Ward (Author)

Are All Bacteria Dangerous? Biology Book for Kids | Children's Biology Books
by Baby Professor (Author)

Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful
by Trudy M. Wassenaar (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Right To Speak
Should all speech, even the most offensive, be allowed on college campuses? And is hearing from those we deeply disagree with ... worth it? This hour, TED speakers explore the debate over free speech. Guests include recent college graduate Zachary Wood, political scientist Jeffrey Howard, novelist Elif Shafak, and journalist and author James Kirchick.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#486 Volcanoes
This week we're talking volcanoes. Because there are few things that fascinate us more than the amazing, unstoppable power of an erupting volcano. First, Jessica Johnson takes us through the latest activity from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to help us understand what's happening with this headline-grabbing volcano. And Janine Krippner joins us to highlight some of the lesser-known volcanoes that can be found in the USA, the different kinds of eruptions we might one day see at them, and how damaging they have the potential to be. Related links: Kilauea status report at USGS A beginner's guide to Hawaii's otherworldly...