How important are rats as vectors of leptospirosis in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam?

Loan Hoang Kim, Van Cuong Nguyen, Takhampunya Ratree, Tuan Kiet Bach, Campbell James, Ngoc Them Lac, Bryant Juliet, Tippayachai Bousaraporn, Van Hoang Nguyen, Morand Serge, Be Hien Vo, Carrique-Mas Juan. 2015. How important are rats as vectors of leptospirosis in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam?. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 15 (1) : pp. 56-64.

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Abstract : Leptospirosis is a zoonosis known to be endemic in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, even though clinical reports are uncommon. We investigated leptospira infection in rats purchased in food markets during the rainy season (October) (n = 150), as well as those trapped during the dry season (February-March) (n = 125) in the region using RT-PCR for the lipL32 gene, confirmed by 16S rRNA, as well as by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Results were compared with the serovar distribution of human cases referred from Ho Chi Minh City hospitals (2004-2012) confirmed by MAT (n = 45). The MAT seroprevalence among rats was 18.3%. The highest MAT seroprevalence corresponded, in decreasing order, to: Rattus norvegicus (33.0%), Bandicota indica (26.5%), Rattus tanezumi (24.6%), Rattus exulans (14.3%), and Rattus argentiventer (7.1%). The most prevalent serovars were, in descending order: Javanica (4.6% rats), Lousiana (4.2%), Copenageni (4.2%), Cynopterie (3.7%), Pomona (2.9%), and Icterohaemorrhagiae (2.5%). A total of 16 rats (5.8%) tested positive by RT-PCR. Overall, larger rats tended to have a higher prevalence of detection. There was considerable agreement between MAT and PCR (kappa = 0.28 [0.07-0.49]), although significantly more rats were positive by MAT (McNemar 29.9 ( p < 0.001). MAT prevalence was higher among rats during the rainy season compared with rats in the dry season. There are no current available data on leptospira serovars in humans in the Mekong Delta, although existing studies suggest limited overlapping between human and rat serovars. Further studies should take into account a wider range of potential reservoirs (i.e., dogs, pigs) as well as perform geographically linked co-sampling of humans and animals to establish the main sources of leptospirosis in the region. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Leptospirose, Transmission des maladies, Vecteur de maladie, Rat, Rattus, Rattus norvegicus, Bandicota, Maladie de l'homme, zoonose, Enquête pathologique, Technique immunologique, Morbidité

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Viet Nam, Mékong

Mots-clés complémentaires : Rattus tanezumi, Rattus argentiventer, Rattus exulans, Bandicota indica

Classification Agris : L72 - Pests of animals
000 - Other themes
L73 - Animal diseases

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Loan Hoang Kim, Institut Pasteur de Shanghai (CHN)
  • Van Cuong Nguyen, Oxford University (GBR)
  • Takhampunya Ratree, AFRIMS (THA)
  • Tuan Kiet Bach, Sub-Department of Animal Health (VNM)
  • Campbell James, Oxford University (GBR)
  • Ngoc Them Lac, Institut Pasteur de Shanghai (CHN)
  • Bryant Juliet, Oxford University (GBR)
  • Tippayachai Bousaraporn, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (THA)
  • Van Hoang Nguyen, Sub-Department of Animal Health (VNM)
  • Morand Serge, CIRAD-ES-UPR AGIRs (LAO) ORCID: 0000-0003-3986-7659
  • Be Hien Vo, INRA (FRA)
  • Carrique-Mas Juan, Oxford University (GBR)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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