Evaluations of land cover risk factors for canine leptospirosis: 94 cases (2002–2009)


Associations of land cover/land use variables and the presence of dogs in urban vs. rural address locations were evaluated retrospectively as potential risk factors for canine leptospirosis in Kansas and Nebraska using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The sample included 94 dogs positive for leptospirosis predominantly based on a positive polymerase chain reaction test for leptospires in urine, isolation of leptospires on urine culture, a single reciprocal serum titer of 12,800 or greater, or a four-fold rise in reciprocal serum titers over a 2–4 weeks period; and 185 dogs negative for leptospirosis based on a negative polymerase chain reaction test and reciprocal serum titers less than 400. Land cover features from 2001 National Land Cover Dataset and 2001 Kansas Gap Analysis Program datasets around geocoded addresses of case/control locations were extracted using 2500 m buffers, and the presence of dogs’ address locations within urban vs. rural areas were estimated in GIS. Multivariate logistic models were used to determine the risk of different land cover variables and address locations to dogs. Medium intensity urban areas (OR = 1.805, 95% C.I. = 1.396, 2.334), urban areas in general (OR = 2.021, 95% C.I. = 1.360, 3.003), and having urban address locations (OR = 3.732, 95% C.I. = 1.935, 7.196 entire study region), were significant risk factors for canine leptospirosis. Dogs regardless of age, sex and breed that live in urban areas are at higher risk of leptospirosis and vaccination should be considered.



Leptospirosis, Canine, Remote Sensing, Geographic informationa systems, Land cover/land use