P14: EcologicaL and epidemiological implications of genetic variability of pathogenic spirochaetes (Leptospira and Borrelia spp)- agents of zoonotic infections, Y. Ananyina, Ed.Korenberg
Deputy Director for Science
Name of organization:
Gamaleya Instititute for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
EcologicaL and epidemiological implications of genetic variability of pathogenic spirochaetes (Leptospira and Borrelia spp)- agents of zoonotic infections
Background. Spirochaetal pathogens of Leptospira and Borelia spp. are known to play an important role in human and animal infectious pathology both in Europe and Russia. Within the last two decades or so a number of these agents have been identified as causes of so-called emerging (Borrelia spp) and re-emerging (Canicola leptospirosis) zoonoses. Not infrequently territories of natural foci of these spirochaetoses overlap.
Some Leptospira agents cause severe human diseases with high case fatality rates, while others, though less virulent are able to induce cluster or outbreak, mainly water-borne, morbidity involving hundreds of human beings. Both leptospirosis and borreliosis may result in late clinical sequelae in humans affected (cardial, neurological, ophthalmological, etc.)
Leptospira and Borrelia spp. display substantial antigenic and genetic diversity. These spirochaetes are also highly variable in terms of ecology: host specificity, selective tropism to host tissues as well as clinical and epidemiological patterns.
Extensive research has clarified the basic natural cycles of these pathogens, and the major vector and reservoir species for most of them are well established in Russia. However, geographical and intrapopulation genetic variation in these pathogens, the influence of this variation on their natural cycles, clinical and epidemiological patterns is poorly understood both in Russia and in Europe. Additionally, it is necessary to estimate the probability of emerging of new spirochaetal genotypes and their potential epidemiological importance.
The ultimate goal of the proposed project - to study genetic variation in Leptospira spp. and Borrelia spp. in Russia with potential implications for human epidemiology and epizootology.
Data will be collected on genetic variation of the pathogens of interest, host associations with reservoir hosts and vectors, and on epidemiology and symptomatology of human disease. This will result in obtaining data set that will provide evidence on
1)genetic variation in the pathogens - by assessing geographic patterns of genetic variation of pathogens in the same host, and in different hosts at the same and at geographically disparate sites.
2)epidemiology of human disease - by correlating disease incidence with various factors that influence pathogen transmission, such as genetic features of pathogens, ecological site characteristics, host availability, etc., at geographically disparate sites
3)symptomatology of human disease - by comparing frequencies of various symptoms among patients in areas with different genetic variants of the pathogens
This is the first attempt to study pathogen genetics in relevance to epizootiology and epidemiology of spirochaetal zoonotic infections in Russia. Therefore, we propose a small pilot study that will allow site visits by the co-investigators to each of the study sites. The site visits will be accompanied by planning meetings at which the investigators will decide on appropriate data sets to be collected at each site, and appropriate modes of analysis.
A. Enterprises Corner
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Potentially interested for continuation of projects preparations on Tuesday afternoon 1 st July