Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Predicting environmental risk of transmission of leptospirosis
Author: Pedra, G. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 6449
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease distributed worldwide, caused by contact with the spirochete bacteria Leptospira. The bacteria are transmitted when animal and human reservoirs come into contact with an environment contaminated with the urine of an infected animal. The ecology of leptospirosis includes complex interactions between the environmental reservoir, the animal reservoir, human infection and the bacteria. Most of the knowledge built up about leptospirosis and human infection is related to medical epidemiology and the animal reservoir. In this thesis, some of the main issues related to the dynamics of Leptospira in the environment were explored and tools were developed to improve understanding of the dynamics of the bacteria in the environment. In order to improve parameter estimation related to the dynamics of the bacteria in the environment, some major gaps were identified and techniques to fill those gaps improved. The first technique developed was to improve animal abundance estimation using removal methods. The improvement of the technique showed that animal abundance could be estimated more accurately and precisely while also being robust to intrinsic variation. This method will provide a more accurate estimation of the level of environmental contamination by rats. Although models that estimate bacterial survival in the environment exist, no models specifically looked at the survivability of leptospires within the environment. Therefore, a survival model was developed that could estimate survival rates of leptospires in microcosms designed to replicate natural environments. The results provided very insightful results that can help planning the duration and frequency of an environmental intervention. Water has been shown to be very relevant for the transmission of human leptospirosis, where rainfall has been associated with infections in endemic regions. The last two studies developed here explored different hydrological techniques in order to produce fine scale environmental risk maps which can be used in disease management. The results obtained here demonstrated in particular the role of multidisciplinary research. Here, the research produced an improvement of the knowledge in different areas such as population ecology, microbiology, hydrology and public health.
Supervisor: Begon, Mike ; Diggle, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral