Leptospirosis in horses: Sentinels for a neglected zoonosis? A systematic review

Eduardo A. Díaz, Gabriela Arroyo, Carolina Sáenz, Luis Mena, Verónica Barragán

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

Resumen

Background and Aim: Leptospirosis is considered a neglected tropical zoonosis in low-income countries due to surveillance system limitations and non-specificity of symptoms. Humans become infected through direct contact with carrier animals or indirectly through Leptospira-contaminated environments. Conventionally, equines have been considered an uncommon source of leptospirosis, but recent publications in Latin America suggest that their role in the maintenance and dispersion of the bacteria could be more relevant than expected, as horses are susceptible to a wide variety of zoonotic Leptospira spp. from domestic and wild animals with which they share the environment. A systematic review of the published literature was conducted to compile the available information on Leptospira spp. in Ecuador, with a special focus on equine leptospirosis, to better understand the epidemiology of the bacterium and identify possible knowledge gaps. Materials and Methods: A systematic review of the published literature was conducted in PubMed, SciELO and Web of Science databases to compile the available information on Leptospira spp. in Ecuador, with a special focus on equine leptospirosis, to better understand the epidemiology of the bacterium. We used a combination of the terms (Leptospira OR Leptospirosis) AND Ecuador, without restrictions on language or publication date. Results: Our literature review reveals that published scientific information is very scarce. Eighteen full-text original scientific articles related to Leptospira or leptospirosis cases in Ecuador were included in the systematic review. Most of the studies reported data obtained from one of the four regions (Coast), and specifically from only one of the 24 Provinces of Ecuador (Manabí), which evidence a large information bias at the geographical level. Furthermore, only the studies focused on humans included clinical signs of leptospirosis and there is only one study that analyzes the presence of Leptospira spp. in water or soil as a risk factor for pathogen transmission. Finally, only one study investigated Leptospira in horses. Conclusion: Since sentinel species can provide useful data on infectious diseases when epidemiologic al information is lacking, and horses could be considered excellent sentinel species to reveal circulating serovars, we propose developing a nationwide surveillance system using horses. This cost-effective epidemiological survey method provides a baseline for implementing specific prevention and control programs in Ecuador and neighboring developing countries.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)2110-2119
Número de páginas10
PublicaciónVeterinary World
Volumen16
N.º10
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 14 oct. 2023

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