Human toxoplasmosis, a protozoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii , has been described as a worldwide foodborne disease with important public health impact. Despite infection has reportedly varied due to differences in alimentary, cultural and hygienic habits and geographic region, social vulnerability influence on toxoplasmosis distribution remains to be fully established. Accordingly, the present study has aimed to assess T . gondii seroprevalence and factors associated to social vulnerability for infection in households of Ivaiporã, southern Brazil, with 33.6% population making half minimum wage or less, ranked 1,055 th in population (31,816 habitants), 1,406 th in per capita income (U$ 211.80 per month) and 1,021 st in HDI (0.764) out of 5,570 Brazilian cities. Serum samples and epidemiological questionnaires were obtained from citizen volunteers with official City Secretary of Health assistance in 2015 and 2016. In overall, serosurvey has revealed 526/715 (73.57%) positive samples for anti- T . gondii antibodies by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test. Logistic regression has shown a significant increase associated to adults (p = 0.021) and elderly (p = 0.014) people, illiterates (p = 0.025), unemployment (p <0.001) and lack of household water tank (p = 0.039). On the other hand, sex (male or female), living area (urban or rural), yard hygiene, meat ingestion, sand or land contact, owning pets (dog, cat or both) were not significant variables of positivity for anti- T . gondii antibodies in the surveyed population. Although no significant spatial cluster was found, high intensity areas of seropositive individuals were located in the Kernel map where the suburban neighborhoods are located. In conclusion, socioeconomic vulnerability determinants may be associated to Toxoplasma gondii exposure. The increased risk due to illiteracy, adult or elderly age, unemployment and lack of household water tank were confirmed by multivariate analysis and the influence of low family income for seropositivity by the spatial analysis.
Neighborhood dogs may act as reservoirs for several zoonotic protozoan infections, particularly in urban areas, thus constituting a potential public health threat. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the exposure of neighborhood dogs to four protozoan pathogens in public areas with high levels of human movement in Curitiba, southern Brazil. Blood samples from 26 neighborhood dogs were screened by means of the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) for Leishmania spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma cruzi and Neospora caninum, and a questionnaire was answered by the respective keeper. A total of 8/26 dogs (30.7%) seroreactive to T. gondii, 3/26 (11.5%) to N. caninum and 2/26 (7.7%) to both were identified. All the samples were seronegative for T. cruzi and Leishmania spp. Pathogen seroreactivity was not associated with the daily human movements or other epidemiological variables investigated (p > 0.05). In conclusion, the low seroprevalence for T. gondii and N. caninum indicated low environmental and food risk for animal infection and the seronegativity for Leishmania spp. and T. cruzi may reflect the absence of these pathogens in urban areas of Curitiba. Moreover, neighborhood dogs may be used as environmental sentinels for the presence of protozoan pathogens and their vectors.
Professionals throughout the world have been working to assess the interdisciplinary interaction and interdependence between health and wellbeing in a constantly changing environment. The One Health concept was developed to encourage sustainable collaborative partnerships and to promote optimal health for people, animals, plants, the environment, and the whole planet. The dissemination of scientific discoveries and policies, by working directly with diverse communities, has been one of the main goals for Global One Health. The One Health concept has also been referred or related to as “One Medicine, One Medicine-One Health, One World-One Health, EcoHealth,” and Planetary Health,” depending on each fundamental view and approach. In Latin America, despite the concept still being discussed among health professionals and educators, several One Health initiatives have been used daily for more than decades. One Health action has been applied especially in rural and underserved urban areas where low socioeconomic status, lack of health professionals, and scarcity of medical resources may require professionals to work together. Local communities from diverse social and economic statuses, including indigenous populations have been working with institutions and social organizations for many years, accomplishing results through grassroots movements. These “bottom-up” socio-community approaches have also been tools for the prevention and control of diseases, such practice has preceded the One Health concepts in Latin American countries. It is strongly believed that collaborative, multidisciplinary, political, and economic initiatives with prosocial focus may become investments toward obtaining significant results in the face of global, economic and health challenges; working for a healthier world with inclusivity, equity, and equality. In this study, it is briefly presented how the One Health approach has been initiated and developed in Latin America, highlighting the events and actions taken in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.
Brazil presents one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in the world. The initial SARS-CoV-2 epicenter was São Paulo city. As of 2019, the homeless population of São Paulo city was estimated at 24,344 individuals, the largest national homeless population. The present study aimed to concomitantly assess the molecular and serological prevalence and associated risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a homeless population and related shelter workers from a day-shelter. Serum samples, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs of persons who are homeless and shelter workers collected from August 25th to 27th, 2020 were tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies by ELISA and SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-qPCR, respectively. All swab samples tested negative by RT-qPCR. Seropositivity of IgM and IgG was 5/203 (2.5%) and 111/203 (54.7%) in persons who are homeless, and 5/87 (5.7%) and 41/87 (47.1%) in shelter workers, respectively, with no statistical differences between groups. The high seroprevalence found herein indicates early environmental and urban spreading of SARS-CoV-2, associated with sociodemographic and economic vulnerability.
Haemotropic mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas) are small pleomorphic bacteria infecting erythrocytes of several mammalian species, including human beings. No study to date has focused on the risk of bacteria exposure in hunting activities, particularly in natural environments of highly tick‐infested areas. Accordingly, the present study aimed to assess haemoplasma occurrence in the complex encompassing wild boars, hunting dogs and hunters of Brazil. A total of 38/65 (58.5%) wild boars and 94/159 (59.1%) dogs were positive by qPCR for at least one haemoplasma. All 25 hunters were negative. Dogs with high hunting frequency were 2.4 more likely to be infected. Sequencing revealed a probable novel haemoplasma species in wild boars. Although exposure to haemoplasma species was present, the study herein found no evidence of cross‐species transmission.
Toxocariasis, caused by Toxocara spp. nematodes, is among the top 5 neglected parasitic diseases worldwide; however, no comprehensive study to date has serologically compared infections in people and their dogs and environmentally contaminated soil or sand of mainland and island locations. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess the seroprevalence of anti- Toxocara antibodies in traditional human seashore populations, the presence of eggs in dogs' feces and hair, and the presence of eggs in environmental samples from islands compared to the adjacent mainland of southern Brazil. Overall, 212/328 (64.6%) people were positive for Toxocara spp. antibodies, including 125/190 (65.8%) island and 87/138 (63.0%) mainland residents. For dog samples, 12/115 (10.43%) were positive for the presence of Toxocara spp. eggs, all from dogs living in islands, and 22/104 (21.15%) dog hair samples contained eggs of Toxocara spp. Environmental contamination with Toxocara spp. eggs was observed in 50/130 (38.46%) samples from all sampled sites. No significant association was found between risk factors (age, sex, educational level, monthly income, owning dogs or cats, ingestion of treated water, and consumption of raw or uncooked meat) and Toxocara spp. seropositivity. The present study is the first concurrent report on people, their dogs, and environmental contamination of Toxocara spp. The high prevalence we observed in the seashore populations of both in island and mainland areas may be caused by exposure to contaminated sand and climatic factors favoring frequent exposure to Toxocara spp. In conclusion, seashore lifestyle and living conditions of both island and mainland areas may have predisposed higher contact with infected pets and contaminated soil, favoring the high prevalence of toxocariasis.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Leptospira and domestic dogs can act as host of some serovars. In order to analyze the transmission dynamics in a dog population, with and without immunization, a longitudinal study was carried out with a focus to evaluate antibody response and to identify serovars. Blood samples were collected in three consecutive years (2015 to 2017) from 331, 373 and 347 dogs respectively. The dog seroprevalence in each year was 11%, 7% and 14%, respectively, and the incidence in 2016 was 5% and in 2017, 14%. The most frequent serovars were Cynopteri and Butembo in 2015, Cynopteri, Butembo and Hardjoprajitno in 2016, and Canicola and Butembo in 2017. Dogs can play a role as sentinel animals and hosts of Leptospira serovars. The percentage of seropositive dogs due to vaccination was higher than the previous years without immunization and lower than in previous years for other serovars, which we interpret as evidence for the importance of immunization. These parameters associated with active canine population control are important for prevention and control of leptospirosis not only in dogs but alsoto inhibit the transmission between dogs and humans.
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