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Seroprevalence of Rickettsia Spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in Indigenous Populations from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia


Oakley, Regina; Kann, Simone; Concha, Gustavo; Plag, Michèle; Poppert, Sven; Graves, Stephen; Paris, Daniel H; Dreyfus, Anou (2024). Seroprevalence of Rickettsia Spp. and Orientia tsutsugamushi in Indigenous Populations from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Rickettsia spp. are vector-borne zoonotic pathogens that cause febrile illness in humans. Rickettsioses is not included in the Colombian national surveillance system and is subsequently expected to be underreported. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Rickettsia spp. and the closely related Orientia tsutsugamushi in two indigenous populations residing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Materials and Methods: Serum samples (n = 539) were collected from the Wiwa and Koguis people between 2021 and 2022. Serum samples were screened for spotted fever group (SFG) and typhus group (TG) Rickettsia spp. using the Fuller laboratories Rickettsia IgG IFA kit and for O. tsutsugamushi with the Scrub Typhus Detect™ IgG ELISA. Results: We observed an overall seroprevalence of 26.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 22.5-30.1] for Rickettsia spp. of the SFG, 5.4% (95% CI 3.6-7.6) for Rickettsia spp. of the TG and 4.3% (95% CI 2.7-6.3) for O. tsutsugamushi. Common risk factors for zoonotic disease infections were assessed for 147 of the Wiwa participants. Increased odds of seropositivity for SFG Rickettsia spp. were observed for Wiwa participants who cared for livestock, including assisting with the birth of cattle (odds ratio [OR] = 8.85; 95% CI 1.54-50.90; p = 0.015) and goats (OR = 7.60; 95% CI 1.70-33.90; p = 0.008). Conclusions: These results highlight a notable exposure to Rickettsia spp., especially the SFG, in rural Colombia. Together with recent reports of high mortality for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in nearby regions of South America, more detailed investigations focusing on improving knowledge and awareness as well as "One Health" and "causes-of-fever" studies are needed. The characterization of Rickettsia spp. infections in humans, livestock, and tick vectors with their potential transmission routes could make a high impact on these easily treatable diseases.

Abstract

Background: Rickettsia spp. are vector-borne zoonotic pathogens that cause febrile illness in humans. Rickettsioses is not included in the Colombian national surveillance system and is subsequently expected to be underreported. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Rickettsia spp. and the closely related Orientia tsutsugamushi in two indigenous populations residing in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Materials and Methods: Serum samples (n = 539) were collected from the Wiwa and Koguis people between 2021 and 2022. Serum samples were screened for spotted fever group (SFG) and typhus group (TG) Rickettsia spp. using the Fuller laboratories Rickettsia IgG IFA kit and for O. tsutsugamushi with the Scrub Typhus Detect™ IgG ELISA. Results: We observed an overall seroprevalence of 26.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 22.5-30.1] for Rickettsia spp. of the SFG, 5.4% (95% CI 3.6-7.6) for Rickettsia spp. of the TG and 4.3% (95% CI 2.7-6.3) for O. tsutsugamushi. Common risk factors for zoonotic disease infections were assessed for 147 of the Wiwa participants. Increased odds of seropositivity for SFG Rickettsia spp. were observed for Wiwa participants who cared for livestock, including assisting with the birth of cattle (odds ratio [OR] = 8.85; 95% CI 1.54-50.90; p = 0.015) and goats (OR = 7.60; 95% CI 1.70-33.90; p = 0.008). Conclusions: These results highlight a notable exposure to Rickettsia spp., especially the SFG, in rural Colombia. Together with recent reports of high mortality for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in nearby regions of South America, more detailed investigations focusing on improving knowledge and awareness as well as "One Health" and "causes-of-fever" studies are needed. The characterization of Rickettsia spp. infections in humans, livestock, and tick vectors with their potential transmission routes could make a high impact on these easily treatable diseases.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Chair in Veterinary Epidemiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:14 May 2024
Deposited On:22 May 2024 07:33
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:41
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN:1530-3667
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2023.0077
PubMed ID:38742967