Cross-sectional sero-prevalence of tularemia among murine rodents of Nepal
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In April of 2015, a massive earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks stroked entire country. Geophysical disasters not only create economic crisis but also cause changes in disease ecology. Tularemia is a zoonotic disease with range of pathogenicity in different animal species. This study was designed to identify the disease status of tularemia in different species of murine rodents of Chitwan District of Nepal. Once the rodents were recovered from metal traps, they were euthanized by injectable anesthesia overdose followed by cervical dislocation. Blood was collected from the heart, and serum was isolated. Presence of tularemia antibodies in the serum was tested by using immunochromatographic test kit containing bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Of the total 80 serum samples tested, 1 sample was found tularemia positive, i.e., apparent prevalence 1.25% (95% CI, i.e., normal approx. CL, − 1.18 to 3.68%) and the true prevalence 0.5024% (95% CI, i.e., Blacker CL, 0 to 5.45%). Likewise, 23.75% (95% CI, i.e., normal approx. CL, 14.42 to 33.08%) of the animals were found with a few to numerous whitish/grayish or yellowish foci and 13.75% (95% CI, i.e., normal approx. CL, 6.2 to 21.3%) of animals with cystic lesions in their liver parenchyma. The location’s prevalence was 3.70% for Bharatpur, while nil for the rest of the areas and the difference was statistically insignificant (*P > 0.05). This evidence of existence of Francisella tularensis in Nepal is expected to evoke public interest at different levels. Food and commodities contaminated with secretions and excretions of rats and mice are strongly suggested to avoid as a safety measure to rodents born infectious diseases.
KeywordsTularemia Nepal Rodent diseases Prevalence
Special thanks to Dr. Yuvraj Panth, Dr. Dipendra Kandel, Dr. Bishnuhari Sharma, and Dr. Manoj Lamichhane for their kind support in survey and rodent collection, and also, our strong gratitude to staffs of Biotechnology Center, Department of Microbiology and Department of Veterinary Medicine of Agriculture and Forestry University of Nepal who were with us at every point of this study. Finally, we would like to thank all the participating locals who wholeheartedly supported to capture rodents at their premises and nearby areas.
NA and IPD conceived and designed the study. NA and KPA carried out sampling and laboratory analysis. NA and KPA drafted the manuscript and carried out statistical analysis, while IPD analyzed and interpreted the data. All the authors of this manuscript have perused and agreed for its final approval.
Financial support for this study was received from Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All essential institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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