Molecular detection of pathogenic Leptospira in synanthropic and wild rodents captured in areas belonging to municipality of Villavicencio, Colombia

Liliana Sánchez Lerma, Andrés Camilo Rojas Gulloso, Verónica Contreras Cogollo, Norma Cristina Pavas Escobar, Diana Patricia Barajas Pardo, Salim Mattar Velilla

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Rodents are potential transmitters of Leptospira spp. In the municipality of Villavicencio, Colombia, leptospirosis is a disease that, although notifiable, is still underreported. In this region, rodent species that can be hosts of pathogenic Leptospira remain unknown. The main objective of this study was to detect the presence of Leptospira spp. through molecular analysis in rodents (Rodentia) from peri-urban and rural areas belonging to the municipality of Villavicencio in Colombia.

Methodology Peri-urban and rural areas of the townships belonging to the municipality of Villavicencio were selected for sampling. These areas presented similar ecological conditions, being close to water bodies and peridomiciliary areas. Some of them included fields of agricultural crops. The kidneys of the rats were removed and frozen in liquid nitrogen. DNA was extracted using a commercial kit and subsequently amplified through conventional polymerase chain reaction.

Results The rodent species collected were: R. rattus, M. musculus, Zygodontomys brevicauda, Oligoryzomys sp, Hylaeamys (formerly Oryzomys) and Proechimys cf. oconnelli. Leptospira DNA was amplified in 6 rodents and the purified amplicons were sent to Macrogen Inc. (Seoul, Korea) for sequencing. The alignment analysis of the sequenced products demonstrated a 98,64% of coverage and identity with Leptospira interrogans.

Conclusions This is the first study carried out on wild and synanthropic rodents in the municipality of Villavicencio, and the incidence of leptospirosis raises an alarm regarding the importance of the role of these small mammals in the transmission of this zoonosis, which is considered as the second cause of undifferentiated febrile illness in Villavicencio after dengue.

Palabras clave

Rodents; Reservoirs; pathogenic Leptospira; Villavicencio

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Copyright (c) 2022 liliana Sanchez lerma, Andrés Camilo Rojas Gulloso, Veronica Contreras Cogollo, Norma Cristina Pavas Escobar, Diana Patricia Barajas Pardo, Salim Mattar Velilla

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