Leptospirosis, an infection of worldwide public health importance, is caused by Leptospira bacteria that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Human infection can occur after contact with infected animals or with a Leptospira-contaminated environment usually associated with agricultural practices, contamination of household or recreational water, poor housing and waste disposal, and changes in the density or proximity of infected animal (rodents, domestic animals, and wildlife). The mechanisms involved in the transmission of the bacteria and the ecological and sociological factors that affect the likelihood of human infection are poorly understood.
Eco-epidemiology of Leptospirosis
The goal is this research program is to understand how leptospirosis persists and is transmitted in ecologically distinct environments and populations, to quantify the relative importance of the multiple sources of infection, and to identify optimal surveillance, response and intervention programs. Broader impacts of this project include training of professionals in the area of emerging infectious diseases and global health, development of methodologies for studying the environmental sources of human infections, and the establishment of multinational and multidisciplinary partnerships for combating infectious diseases of global health importance.
Eco-epidemiology of leptospirosis in Chile: Understanding transmission dynamics in distinct community types
This project is funded by the Ecology of Infectious Program from National Science Foundation. The specific aims are:
- To identify and quantify the socio-ecological elements that regulate the distribution of Leptospira infection and environmental contamination in three different types of communities in southern Chile representing rural and urban environments.
- To identify effective intervention strategies to reduce animal and human leptospirosis in developing countries though the development of a mathematical transmission model.
The Specific Aims will be addressed through an ecosystem-based field study in Los Rios Region, Chile. In order to predict the risk of Leptospira transmission to humans, we will enroll households from distinct types of communities and characterize the distribution and genetic relatedness of Leptospira from humans, domestic and farm animals, rodents, and water in the study areas. The Leptospira data will be related to environmental, demographic, sociological, occupational, and climatic factors.
- Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
- Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles
- Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health
Temporal patterns of Leptospira environmental contamination in rural villages from southern Chile
The goal of this student project is to characterize changes over time in leptospira-contaminated water from a peri-domestic environment in rural households and what factors are correlated with the change.
Funded is being provided by the Global Spotlight Program from the University of Minnesota. http://global.umn.edu/spotlight/index.html
|April 2011||Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Program Pathogen Emergence Working Group: Transmission dynamics of leptospirosis. Los Angeles, CA. "Role of the environment and animal interface in dynamics of Leptospira infection".|
|September 2011||7th Meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society, Merida, Mexico. "Eco-epidemiology of leptospirosis in Latin America".|
|March 2012||International Conference of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Atlanta, GA. J. "Seroprevalence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis in children from Wisconsin".|
|June 2012||45th Annual Society for Epidemiologic Research Meeting, Minneapolis, MN. "Household characteristics associated with rodent presence and Leptospira infection in three communities setting in Chile".
|August 2012||"Studies on the eco-epidemiology of leptospirosis" . PAHO Meeting of Central American countries with frequent leptospirosis outbreaks. Managua, Nicaragua.
International Leptospirosis Society
Leptospirosis Burden Epidemiology Reference Group