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Investigation on predominant Leptospira serovars and its distribution in humans and livestock in Thailand, 2010-2015

posted on 09.02.2017, 18:59 by Sudarat Chadsuthi, Dominique J. Bicout, Anuwat Wiratsudakul, Duangjai Suwancharoen, Wimol Petkanchanapong, Charin Modchang, Wannapong Triampo, Parntep Ratanakorn, Karine Chalvet-Monfray


Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic bacterial disease caused by infection with leptospires. Leptospirosis in humans and livestock is an endemic and epidemic disease in Thailand. Livestock may act as reservoirs for leptospires and source for human infection.

Methodology/Principal findings

Data on leptospirosis infection in humans and livestock (Buffaloes, Cattle, and Pigs) species during 2010 to 2015 were analyzed. Serum samples were examined using Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) to identify antibodies against Leptospira serovars using a cut-off titer ≥ 1:100. The seroprevalence was 23.7% in humans, 24.8% in buffaloes, 28.1% in cattle, and 11.3% in pigs. Region specific prevalence among humans and livestock was found in a wide range. The most predominant serovars were Shermani, followed by Bratislava, Panama, and Sejroe in human, Shermani, Ranarum, and Tarassovi in buffaloes, and Shermani and Ranarum in cattle and pigs. Equally highest MAT titers against multiple serovars per one sample were found mainly in buffaloes and cattle showing equally titers against Ranarum and Shermani. The correlations of distribution of serovars across Thailand’s regions were found to be similar in pattern for cattle but not for buffaloes. In humans, the serovar distribution in the south differed from other regions. By logistic regression, the results indicated that livestock is more susceptible to infection by serovar Shermani when compared to humans.


This study gives a detailed picture of the predominance of Leptospira serovars in relation to region, humans and typical livestock. The broad spatial distribution of seroprevalence was analyzed across and within species as well as regions in Thailand. Our finding may guide public health policy makers to implement appropriate control measures and help to reduce the impact of leptospirosis in Thailand.