Seroprevalence of leptospirosis in rural populations inhabiting areas exposed and not exposed to floods in eastern Poland

Jacek Sroka 2,  
Ewa Cisak 3,  
Anna Sawczyn 3,  
Department of Swine Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Epidemiology, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2012;19(2):285–288
Blood serum samples collected from randomly selected groups of 100 persons inhabiting rural community ‘A’ located in eastern Poland and exposed to floods by the Vistula river, and 98 persons inhabiting rural community ‘B’, also located in eastern Poland, but in the area not exposed to floods were examined by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of antibodies against 18 [i]Leptospira[/i] serovars. Positive results showed 3% of serum samples collected from community ‘A’, while the seroprevalence in community ‘B’ was 9.2%, being insignificantly higher than in community ‘A’. For both examined communities (n=198), a significant positive correlation was found between the prevalence and titer of seropositive response and age of examined people (r=0.145, p=0.042). No significant differences were found between the prevalence of positive reactions in males and females (p>0.05). The reactions with 10 serovars of [i]Leptospira[/i] (Australis, Autumnalis, Hebdomadis, Hardjo, Sejroe, Zanoni, Bataviae, Bratislava, Canicola and Grippotyphosa), belonging to 3 species ([i]L. interrogans, L. borgpetersenii, L. kirschneri[/i]), were found in the examined communities. From both communities, of 12 persons demonstrating positive results in MAT, 9 showed reaction with one serovar, 2 with two serovars and 1 with three serovars. The highest titers found during the examination did not exceeded 800. In conclusion, our results suggest that there is only a slight, if any, hazard of an leptospirosis epidemic after the flood that afflicted eastern Poland in the year 2010 and the general epidemiological situation of leptospirosis in eastern Poland. Although there does not seem to be any cause for concern, further research is needed.