Canine Leptospirosis in a Northwestern Region of Colombia: Serological, Molecular and Epidemiological Factors

Janeth Perez-Garcia, Fernando P. Monroy, Piedad Agudelo-Florez

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3 Scopus citations


Canine leptospirosis is a zoonosis of epidemiological importance. Dogs are recognized as primary reservoirs of Leptospira interrogans serogroup Canicola and a source of infection to the environment through urine. This study aimed to determine the presence of antibodies against Leptospira in canines from 49 municipalities in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia. We performed a cross-sectional study of dogs included in a neutering control program. We collected 1335 sera samples, assayed by a microagglutination test (MAT), and performed PCR detection in 21 urine samples. We also surveyed 903 dog owners. We found a seroreactivity of 11.2% (150/1335) in Antioquia with titers ≥1:50. Municipalities with the highest number of cases were Belmira (46.1%), Turbo (34.5%), and Concepción (31.0%). L. santarosai was identified by phylogenetic analysis in one urine sample from the municipality of Granada. The most important factor associated with a positive result was the lack of vaccination against leptospirosis (PR 3.3, p ≤ 0.014). Environmental factors such as water presence and bare soil around the household were also associated with Leptospira seroreactivity in the Department of Antioquia. We reviewed a national epidemiological surveillance database for human cases in those municipalities. We found a correlation between the high number of cases in canines and humans, especially in the Uraba. Serological and molecular results showed the circulation of Leptospira. Future public health efforts in the municipalities with the highest numbers of seroreactivity should be directed towards vaccination to prevent animal disease and decrease the probability of transmission of Leptospira. Dogs actively participate in the Leptospira cycle in Antioquia and encourage the implementation of vaccination protocols and coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1040
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Colombia
  • Leptospira santarosai
  • dogs
  • leptospirosis
  • risk factors
  • seroreactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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