Leptospira seroprevalence in animals in the Caribbean region: a systematic review
This systematic review summarises the data published on the Leptospira seroprevalence, serovar diversity and distribution among animal species in the Caribbean region. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, and checklist, relevant articles were identified and data were extracted and recorded. The review provided Leptospira seroprevalence data from 16 Caribbean islands (Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Saint Croix, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Antigua, Carriacou, Dominica, Guadalupe, Martinique, Monserrat, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Vincent) in a variety of animal species. Reviewing the literature highlighted the limited amount of data available from limited number of islands. Many of the studies conducted have recorded seroprevalences based on variable and small samples sizes. Besides, serovar panels used for MAT were not consistent between studies. The review indicates that the Leptospira exposure in a given geographic location may change with time and climatic and environmental conditions, and highlights the need to conduct continual surveillance in tropical countries where the climate supports the survival of Leptospira in the environment. Specific attention must be given to standardization of MAT panels and protocols and providing training across laboratories involved in testing. Further, animal and environment testing to isolate and identify circulating Leptospira spp. in geographic region must actively be pursued. This knowledge is important to implement geographically specific control programs, as risk factors of Leptospira transmission is favoured by various factors such by change in climatic conditions, urbanization, encroachment of wildlife inhabitation, import/export of animals, increase in adventure travel, and water related recreational activities.