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Volume 21, Number 12—December 2015

High Prevalence of Intermediate Leptospira spp. DNA in Febrile Humans from Urban and Rural Ecuador

Jorge Chiriboga, Verónica Barragan, Gabriela Arroyo, Andrea Sosa, Dawn N. Birdsell, Karool España, Ana Mora, Emilia Espín, María Eugenia Mejía, Melba Morales, Carmina Pinargote, Manuel Gonzalez, Rudy Hartskeerl, Paul Keim, Gustavo Bretas, Joseph N.S. Eisenberg, and Gabriel TruebaComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Microbiology Institute, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Campus Cumbaya, Quito, Ecuador (J. Chiriboga, V. Barragan, G. Arroyo, A. Sosa, E. Espín, M.E. Mejía, G. Trueba); Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA (D.N. Birdsell, P. Keim); Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública e Investigación, Portoviejo, Ecuador (K. España, A. Mora, M. Morales, C. Pinargote, M. Gonzalez); Ministerio de Salud Pública, Portoviejo (M. Morales); Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam, the Netherlands (R. Hartskeerl); Organización Panamericana de la Salud OPS, Guayaquil, Ecuador (G. Bretas); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (J.N.S. Eisenberg)

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Table 2

Leptospira spp.–positive samples from febrile patients in 3 communities along the coast of Ecuador, 2011–2012*

Location, year No. samples analyzed Leptospira spp.–positive samples
No. (%) spurious PCR products†
Pathogenic cluster
Intermediate cluster
No. (%) Species No. (%) Species
Esmeraldas, 2011–2012‡ 108§ 3 (2.7) L. noguchii 73 (68) L. wolffii 6 (4)


59 (58)
L. wolffii
Portoviejo, 2012# 100 0 24 (24) L. wolffii 0

1 (1)
L. inadai
15 (32)
Guayaquil 2011** 154 3 (1.9) L. borgpetersenii 28 (18) L. wolffii 9 (21)
1 (0.6) L. kirschneri/L. interrogans†† 0

*The 3 communities were in rural (Esmeraldas), semiurban (Portoviejo), and urban (Guayaquil) locations. Leptospiral DNA in patient samples was detected by PCR. Molecular methods were used to amplify and sequence the leptospiral rrs gene from DNA. –, not applicable/no value.
†The spurious products represent serum samples that produced amplicons of the correct size but with DNA sequences different from Leptospira (for the pathogenic and intermediate cluster).
‡Of samples from Esmeraldas, 27% were positive for dengue virus (IgM ELISA) and Leptospira sp. (PCR).
§Serum samples.
¶Blood spot samples.
#Sixty-six samples were tested for dengue virus by IgM ELISA (57 negative, 9 positive) but were not tested for Leptospira sp.; 34 samples were IgM ELISA–positive for Leptospira sp. but were not tested for dengue virus.
**Samples tested negative for dengue virus by IgM ELISA.
††The amplicon showed the same degree of identity to both species.

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Page created: November 16, 2015
Page updated: November 16, 2015
Page reviewed: November 16, 2015
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