A one health approach to investigating Leptospira serogroups and their spatial distributions among humans and animals in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2013-2015

Noemi Polo, Gustavo Machado, Rogerio Rodrigues, Patricia Nájera Hamrick, Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, Martha Maria Pereira, Marilina Bercini, Loeci Natalina Timm, Maria Cristina Schneider

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16 Scopus citations


Leptospirosis is an endemic zoonotic disease in Brazil and is widespread throughout rural populations in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This study aimed to identify presumptive infecting Leptospira serogroups in human and animal cases and describe their occurrences within the ecoregions of the state by animal species. Data for human and animal leptospirosis cases were gathered from the government's passive surveillance systems and presumptive infecting serogroups were identified based on a two-fold titer difference in serogroups in the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) panel. A total of 22 different serogroups were reported across both human and animal cases. Serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was the most common among humans, while serogroup Sejroe predominated among animal cases, particularly bovines. Each ecoregion had a large distribution of cases, with 51% of the human cases in the Parana-Paraiba ecoregion, and 81% of the animal cases in the Savannah ecoregion. Identifying and mapping the serogroups circulating using the One Health approach is the first step for further understanding the distribution of the disease in the state. This study has the potential to aid in guiding public health and agricultural practices, furthering the need for a human vaccine in high-risk populations to complement control and prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 27 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge Pam Ferro and Carlos Rodrigues from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX for allowing the viewing of how the MAT laboratory diagnosis is performed. As well as Scott Quinlan from the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health, and the staff at Instituto de Pesquisas Veterin?rias Deside?rio Finamor (IPVDF), Secretaria de Agricultura do Rio Grande do Sul for cordially sending digitized copies of the animal laboratory results. Lastly, Deise Galan for her assistance, support, and expertise throughout this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Brazil
  • Global health
  • Infectious disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • One Health
  • Serogroups
  • Zoonoses


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