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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24, Issue 2, Pages 79-84
Original Article

Zoonotic Infections in Communities of the James Bay Cree Territory: An Overview of Seroprevalence

Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga,1 Benoit Lévesque,1,2 Elhadji Anassour-Laouan-Sidi,1 Suzanne Côté,1 Bouchra Serhir,3 Brian J Ward,4 Michael D Libman,5 Michael A Drebot,6 Kai Makowski,6 Kristina Dimitrova,6 Momar Ndao,4 and Éric Dewailly1,2

1Axe Santé des Populations et Environnement, Centre de recherche, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ), Canada
2Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), Canada
3Laboratoire de santé publique du Québec, INSPQ, Canada
4JD MacLean Tropical Diseases Centre, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada
5Department of Microbiology, Montreal General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada
6National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Cree communities of James Bay are at risk for contracting infectious diseases transmitted by wildlife. Data from serological testing for a range of zoonotic infections performed in the general population (six communities), or trappers and their spouses (one community), were abstracted from four population-based studies conducted in Cree territory (Quebec) between 2005 and 2009. Evidence of exposure to Trichinella species, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis was verified in all communities, whereas antibodies against Sin Nombre virus and California serogroup viruses (Jamestown Canyon and snowshoe hare viruses) were evaluated in three and six communities, respectively. Seroprevalence varied widely among communities: snowshoe hare virus (1% to 42%), F tularensis (14% to 37%), Leptospira species (10% to 27%), Jamestown Canyon virus (9% to 24%), C burnetii (0% to 18%), T gondii (4% to 12%), T canis (0% to 10%), E granulosus (0% to 4%) and Trichinella species (0% to 1%). No subject had serological evidence of Sin Nombre virus exposure. These data suggest that large proportions of the Cree population have been exposed to at least one of the targeted zoonotic agents. The Cree population, particularly those most heavily exposed to fauna, as well as the medical staff living in these regions, should be aware of these diseases. Greater awareness would not only help to decrease exposures but would also increase the chance of appropriate diagnostic testing.