Seroprevalence of Leptospira Hardjo in Cattle and African Buffalos in Southwestern Uganda

Christine Atherstone College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; MSc Student International Animal Health Programme, Division of Pathway Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Conservation through Public Health, Entebbe, Uganda

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Kim Picozzi College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; MSc Student International Animal Health Programme, Division of Pathway Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Conservation through Public Health, Entebbe, Uganda

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Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; MSc Student International Animal Health Programme, Division of Pathway Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Conservation through Public Health, Entebbe, Uganda

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Leptospirosis, caused by the spirochete bacterium Leptospira spp. is a zoonosis, distributed worldwide and classified as an emerging infectious disease. Fatal outcomes to leptospiral infection do occur and the disease can cause abortion and other reproductive problems in cattle, goats, and pigs. In humans the symptoms range from subclinical infection to acute febrile illness, pulmonary hemorrhage and renal failure. Leptospirosis has never been officially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) or the World Animal Health Organization in animals or humans in Uganda. However, favorable ecological conditions and suitable animal hosts can be found within the country. A commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) kit was used to screen sera samples from domesticated cattle and African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) at two locations in southwestern Uganda, collected over a 4-year period. Positive samples were found in both cattle and African buffalo samples, from both locations and across the sampling period. Overall seroprevalence was 42.39% in African buffalo and 29.35% in cattle.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Christine Atherstone, International Livestock Research Institute, Plot 106 Katalima Road, Kampala, Uganda. E-mail: Christine.atherstone@gmail.com

Authors' addresses: Christine Atherstone, International Livestock Research Institute, Kampala, Uganda, E-mail: Christine.atherstone@gmail.com. Kim Picozzi, Division of Pathway Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK, E-mail: Kim.Picozzi@ed.ac.uk. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Conservation through Public Health, Entebbe, Uganda, E-mail: Gladys@ctph.org.

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