Human, animal, water source interactions and leptospirosis in Thailand.
Narkkul U., Thaipadungpanit J., Srisawat N., Rudge JW., Thongdee M., Pawarana R., Pan-Ngum W.
In Thailand, leptospirosis is primarily associated with those who work in agricultural occupations. Leptospirosis control is hampered by a poor understanding of the complex interactions between humans, animal reservoirs, Leptospira, and the variable spatial environment in which these factors coexist. We aimed to address key knowledge gaps concerning leptospirosis disease dynamics and the human-animal-water-source interface in two high-risk areas in Thailand. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 746 study participants in two high-risk areas for leptospirosis in Thailand: Sisaket (SSK) and Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST). Interactions among humans, animals and water sources were quantified and analyzed. The presence of different animal species and thus contact patterns were different in NST and SSK. The consumption of water from the shared sources between the two areas was different. Those whose occupations were related to animals or environmental water and those who consumed water from more than two sources were more likely to have been infected with leptospirosis, with adjusted odds ratios 4.31 (95% CI 1.17-15.83) and 10.74 (95% CI 2.28-50.53), respectively. Understanding specific water-source sharing networks and human-animal contact patterns is useful when designing national and area-specific control programmes to prevent and control leptospirosis outbreaks.