Abstract
DETECTION, ISOLATION AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF LEPTOSPIRA FROM SOIL AND WATER SAMPLES OF CENTRAL KERALA

K. J. John*, K. K. Anilkumar, Ramesh Kumar and D. Nisha

ABSTRACT

Leptospirosis has been repeatedly reported from the State of Kerala since 1989 and is one of the commonest diseases among the 14 notifiable diseases in the district level communicable disease surveillance system. As there are no field studies on human leptospirosis in Kerala, we have proposed this sero-epidemiological study of leptospirosis in the Ernakulam district in Kerala to identify locally prevalent serogroups, and to understand local epidemiological features of the disease. In spring of 2015, 75 samples, which includes water samples (50), soil samples (25), were collected from the sewage and paddy field of central part of Ernakulam district located in Kerala. Some parts of agricultural land, which had stagnant waters such as: streams, water channels, were focused to collect sample. Leptospira spp. is to be isolated using culture method and then identified by phenotyping tests. Identification of Leptospiras is possible through culture in the Leptospira Enrichment medium. PCR technique is used to confirm the Leptospira species in all the collected samples. This method is able to differentiate between the saprophytic and pathogenic Leptispiras. The results revealed the ubiquity of Leptospira in the environment and highlight the need to develop formal approaches for systematic monitoring. This study concluded that the collected water and soil samples have only limited significance in the distribution of Leptospira. This study also provides important information regarding the identification of the pathogenic serovars and saprophytic serovars.

Keywords: Leptospirosis, sero-epidemiological, agricultural land, saprophytic, pathogenic.


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