Print version ISSN 0120-4157
FERRO, Beatriz Eugenia; RODRIGUE, Ana Lucía; MAURICIO, Pérez and TRAVI, Bruno Luis. Seroprevalence of Leptospira infection in habitants of peripheral neighborhoods in Cali, Colombia. Biomédica [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.2, pp. 250-257. ISSN 0120-4157.
Introduction. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease with varying modes of transmission and clinical expression that affects humans inhabiting urban and rural areas worldwide. In Colombia, little is known regarding leptospirosis in urban settings. Objectives. To establish the seroprevalence of leptospiral infection in humans, to assess the serological reactivity and to identify factors associated with seropositivity. Materials and methods. We conducted an infection prevalence study in 259 inhabitants of peripheral neighborhoods in the city of Cali, Colombia, stratified by sex and age. Sociodemographic information, time residing in the same neighborhood, occupation, exposure to potentially infectious sources like water or animals, and serum used in a Microagglutination test against 19 Leptospira serovars were obtained. Results. The population was composed mainly of students (37.1%), housewives (32%) and workers in non-formal activities (24.6%). The prevalence of anti- Leptospira antibodies was 23.3% (CI95% 18.3-28.3), with high frequency in people older than 57 years of age and significantly higher in men than women (p=0.045). There was an association between the presence of antibodies and contact with animals (p=0.038) . Reactivity was observed against 16 of the 19 serovars evaluated, but the antibody titers were low. Conclusions. The high infection seroprevalence found in this study suggests frequent contact with Leptospira in putatively high risk neighborhoods of Cali. Contact with animals was the most significant factor associated with the presence of anti- Leptospira antibodies.
Keywords : seroepidemiologic studies; leptospirosis; antibodies; Colombia.