Leptospira Exposure and Gardeners: A Case-Control Seroprevalence Study

Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Jesus Hernandez-Tinoco, Luis Francisco Sanchez-Anguiano, Agar Ramos-Nevarez, Sandra Margarita Cerrillo-Soto, Carlos Alberto Guido-Arreola

Abstract


Background: Leptospira can be found in soil. However, it is unclear whether occupational exposure to soil may represent a risk for Leptospira infection in humans. Therefore, we sought to determine the association of Leptospira IgG seroprevalence with the occupation of gardener, and to determine the epidemiological characteristics of gardeners associated with Leptospira exposure.

Methods: We performed a case-control study in 168 gardeners and 168 age- and gender-matched control subjects without gardening occupation in Durango City, Mexico. The seroprevalence of anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies in cases and controls was determined using an enzyme immunoassay. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of Leptospira exposure and the characteristics of the gardeners.

Results: Anti-Leptospira IgG antibodies were found in 10 (6%) of 168 gardeners and in 15 (8.9%) of 168 control subjects (odds ratio (OR): 0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28 - 1.48; P = 0.40). Multivariate analysis showed that Leptospira seropositivity was positively associated with female gender (OR: 5.82; 95% CI: 1.11 - 30.46; P = 0.03), and negatively associated with eating while working (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.05 - 0.87; P = 0.03). In addition, multivariate analysis showed that high anti-Leptospira levels were associated with consumption of boar meat (OR: 28.00; 95% CI: 1.20 - 648.80; P = 0.03).

Conclusions: This is the first case-control study of Leptospira exposure in gardeners. Results do not support an association of Leptospira exposure with the occupation of gardener. However, further studies to confirm the lack of this association are needed. The potential role of consumption of boar meat in Leptospira infection deserves further investigation.




J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(1):25-28
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2377w


Keywords


Leptospira; Epidemiology; Seroprevalence; Gardeners; Case-control study; Mexico

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