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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 719049, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/719049
Clinical Study

Serological Evidence of Exposure to Leptospira spp. in Veterinary Students and Other University Students in Trinidad and Tobago

School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Received 26 July 2012; Revised 17 December 2012; Accepted 19 December 2012

Academic Editor: Mary E. Marquart

Copyright © 2013 Ambrose James et al. 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.

Abstract

The study compared the serological evidence of leptospirosis in 212 students in four schools (veterinary, dental, advanced nursing education and pharmacy) of the University of the West Indies (UWI), by testing for IgG immunoglobulins to Leptospira spp. using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Overall, of 212 students tested by the ELISA, 12 (5.7%) and 31 (14.6%) were positive and borderline, respectively. Amongst the 113 veterinary students 11 (9.7%) and 19 (16.8%) were seropositive and borderline respectively compared with nonveterinary students with corresponding values of 1 (1.0%) and 12 (12.1%). The frequency of serological evidence of leptospirosis by the ELISA was statistically significantly ( ; ) higher in veterinary students, 26.5% (30 of 113) than in nonveterinary students, 13.1% (13 of 99). By the MAT, the seropositivity for leptospirosis was similar for veterinary students, 7.1% (8 of 113) and nonveterinary students, 7.1% (7 of 99). For veterinary students, the prevalent infecting serovar was Icterohaemorrhagiae Copenhageni while amongst nonveterinary students, the prevalent serovar was Australis Rachmati. Being a veterinary student was the only risk factor that was significantly associated with Leptospira infection indicating that veterinary students need to be cognizant and to practise preventive measures for leptospirosis.