U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

 

Authors

Hannah M. Cranford, Virgin Islands Department of Health, Epidemiology DivisionFollow
A. Springer Browne, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
Karen Lecount, United States Department of Agriculture
Tammy Anderson, USDA APHIS
Camila Hamond, USDA APHIS
Linda Schlater, USDA APHIS
Tod Stuber, United States Department of Agriculture
Valicia J. Burke-France, Virgin Islands Department of Health
Marissa Taylor, Virgin Islands Department of Health
Cosme J. Harrison, Virgin Islands Department of Health
Katia Y. Matias, Virgin Islands Department of Health
Alexandra Medley, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
John Rossow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nicholas Wiese, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Leanne Jankelunas, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Leah de Wilde, Virgin Islands Department of Health, Epidemiology Division
Michelle Mehalick, St. Croix Animal Welfare Center
Gerard L. Blanchard, United States Department of Agriculture
Keith R. Garcia, United States Department of Agriculture
Alan S. McKinley, United States Department of Agriculture
Claudia D. Lombard, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Nicole F. Angeli, United States Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources
David Horner, US National Park Service
Thomas Kelley, US National Park Service
David J. Worthington, US National Park Service
Jennifer Valiulis, St. Croix Environmental Association
Bethany Bradford, Virgin Islands Department of Human Services
Are Berentsen, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Johanna S. Salzer, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Renee Galloway, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Ilana J. Schafer, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
Kristine Bisgard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Joseph Roth, Virgin Islands Department of Health, Epidemiology Division
Brett R. Ellis, Virgin Islands Department of Health
Esther M. Ellis, Virgin Islands Department of Health, Epidemiology DivisionFollow
Jarlath E. Nally, United States Department of Agriculture

Document Type

Article

Date of this Version

11-1-2021

Citation

Cranford, H.M., A.S. Browne, K. LeCount, T. Anderson, C. Hamond, L. Schlater, T. Stuber, V.J. Burke-France, M. Taylor, C.J. Harrison, K.Y. Matias, A. Medley, J. Rossow, N. Wiese, L. Jankelunas, L. de Wilde, M. Mehalick, G.L. Blanchard, K.R. Garcia, A.S. McKinley, C.D. Lombard, N.F. Angeli, D. Horner, T. Kelley, D.J. Worthington, J. Valiulis, B. Bradford, A. Berentsen, J.S. Salzer, R. Galloway, I.J. Schafer, K. Bisgard, J. Roth, B.R. Ellis, E.M. Ellis, and J.E. Nally. 2021. Mongooses (Urva auropunctata) as reservoir hosts of Leptospira species in the United States Virgin Islands, 2019-2020. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 15(11):e0009859.

doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009859

Comments

U.S. government work

Abstract

During 2019–2020, the Virgin Islands Department of Health investigated potential animal reservoirs of Leptospira spp., the bacteria that cause leptospirosis. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated Leptospira spp. exposure and carriage in the small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata, syn: Herpestes auropunctatus), an invasive animal species. This study was conducted across the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), which are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. We used the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), fluorescent antibody test (FAT), real-time polymerase chain reaction (lipl32 rt-PCR), and bacterial culture to evaluate serum and kidney specimens and compared the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of these laboratory meth-ods. Mongooses (n = 274) were live-trapped at 31 field sites in ten regions across USVI and humanely euthanized for Leptospira spp. testing. Bacterial isolates were sequenced and evaluated for species and phylogenetic analysis using the ppk gene. Anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 34% (87/256) of mongooses. Reactions were observed with the following serogroups: Sejroe, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pyrogenes, Mini, Cynopteri, Australis, Hebdomadis, Autumnalis, Mankarso, Pomona, and Ballum. Of the kidney specimens exam-ined, 5.8% (16/270) were FAT-positive, 10% (27/274) were culture-positive, and 12.4% (34/ 274) were positive by rt-PCR. Of the Leptospira spp. isolated from mongooses, 25 were L. borgpetersenii, one was L. interrogans, and one was L. kirschneri. Positive predictive values of FAT and rt-PCR testing for predicting successful isolation of Leptospira by culture were 88% and 65%, respectively. The isolation and identification of Leptospira spp. in mongooses highlights the potential role of mongooses as a wildlife reservoir of leptospirosis; mongooses could be a source of Leptospira spp. infections for other wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

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