Seroprevalence of human leptospirosis in a rural community from Tandil, Argentina. Assessment of risk factors and spatial analysis

Rev Argent Microbiol. 2022 Jul 5;S0325-7541(22)00033-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ram.2022.02.007. Online ahead of print.


Leptospirosis is a neglected zoonosis that is widely distributed in the world. Although it is endemic in Argentina, prevalence remains unknown. The aims of the study were: (i) to determine the prevalence of leptospirosis in humans from a rural community in Tandil Argentina, (ii) to identify infecting Leptospira spp. serogroups, (iii) to identify factors associated with the infection, (iv) to estimate the population attributable fraction (PAF) of the risk factors and (v) to determine the spatial patterns of disease presentation and related risk factors. Blood samples from 202 participants were collected. A survey was conducted to obtain clinical and epidemiological data. Serological testing was performed by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Univariate and multivariate methods were applied to evaluate associations. Spatial clusters were investigated for seroprevalence and risk factors. Antibodies were found in 32.2% of participants (95% CI: 25.8-39.1). The most prevalent serogroup was Hebdomadis followed by Sejroe; Icterohaemorrhagiae; Tarassovi and Canicola. Living at lower altitudes (OR: 13.04; 95% CI: 2.60-65.32); not having access to water supply network (OR: 2.95; 95% CI: 1.30-6.69); living close to flooded streets (OR: 2.94; 95% CI: 1.14-7.69) and practicing water sports (OR: 3.12; 95% CI: 1.12-8.33) were associated with seropositivity. Factors related with housing characteristics, services and infrastructure had the higher PAF (from 17% to 81%). A spatial cluster with higher rates of positivity and of the main risk factors was determined. This work contributes useful data for specific preventive measures that should be implemented for the control of the disease.

Keywords: Análisis espacial; Argentina; Comunidad rural; Factores de riesgo; Leptospirosis; Risk factors; Rural community; Seroprevalence; Seroprevalencia; Spatial analysis.