Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

High Diversity of Leptospira Species Infecting Bats Captured in the Uraba Region (Antioquia-Colombia)

Version 1 : Received: 24 August 2021 / Approved: 25 August 2021 / Online: 25 August 2021 (09:54:58 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Monroy, F.P.; Solari, S.; Lopez, J.Á.; Agudelo-Flórez, P.; Peláez Sánchez, R.G. High Diversity of Leptospira Species Infecting Bats Captured in the Urabá Region (Antioquia-Colombia). Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1897. Monroy, F.P.; Solari, S.; Lopez, J.Á.; Agudelo-Flórez, P.; Peláez Sánchez, R.G. High Diversity of Leptospira Species Infecting Bats Captured in the Urabá Region (Antioquia-Colombia). Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1897.

Journal reference: Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1897
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms9091897

Abstract

Leptospirosis is a globally distributed zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Leptospira. This zoonotic disease affects humans, domestic, or wild animals. Colombia is considered an endemic country for leptospirosis; and Antioquia is the second department in Colombia with the highest number of reported leptospirosis cases. Currently, many studies report bats as reservoirs of Leptospira spp. but its prevalence in these mammals is unknown. In the present study we aimed to better understand the role of bats as reservoir hosts of Leptospira species and to evaluate the genetic diversity of circulating Leptospira species in Antioquia-Colombia. We captured 206 bats in the municipalities of Chigorodó (43 bats), Carepa (43 bats), Apartadó (39 bats), Turbo (40 bats), and Necoclí (41 bats) in the Urabá region (Antioquia-Colombia). Twenty bats were positive for Leptospira spp. infection (20/206 - 9,70%) and the species of infected bats were Carollia perspicillata, Dermatura rava, Glossophaga soricina, Molossus molossus, Artibeus planirostris, and Uroderma convexum. These species have different feeding strategies such as frugivorous, insectivores, and nectarivores. The infecting Leptospira species identified were Leptospira borgpetersenii (3/20 – 15%), Leptospira alexanderi (2/20 – 10%), Leptospira noguchii (6/20 – 30%), Leptospira interrogans (3/2 – 15%), and Leptospira kirschneri (6/20 – 30%). The results of this research show the importance of bats in the epidemiology, ecology and evolution of Leptospira in this host-pathogen association. This is the first step in deciphering the role played by bats in the epidemiology of human leptospirosis in the endemic region of Uraba (Antioquia-Colombia).

Keywords

Leptospira; bats; Colombia; leptospirosis; species; type; 16S ribosomal gene

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