A cross-sectional study was carried out in the Morogoro region, Tanzania, to determine the seroprevalence of canine Leptospira exposure. A total of 232 sera were collected from apparently healthy dogs in Mvomero, Morogoro Urban and Morogoro Rural districts. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was performed following standard procedure using panel of six Leptospira serovars. Within the districts, positive reactions against five serovars were detected: Sokoine (4.3%); Pomona (4.3%); Lora (3.0%); Grippotyphosa (2.2%), and Kenya (0.9%). The overall seroprevalence was found to be 9.5%. Male dogs were at significantly greater risk than the female dogs (p < 0.05); but no significant difference in prevalence was observed with respect to age and breed (p>0.05). The growing urbanization, which allows high interaction between different maintenance hosts, may cause infection spill over and consequently a rising prevalence. The presence of Leptospira antibodies suggests that leptospirosis is common in this study area. Therefore, further serological surveys followed by isolation and identification of isolates in this study area and other areas of the country need to be undertaken to report infective serovars in canine population.
Key words: Seroprevalence, leptospirosis, serovars, epidemiology, dogs.
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