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Seroprevalence and associated risk factors of leptospirosis in bovine dairy farms in Telangana state, India

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The current cross-sectional study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Leptospira infection in bovine dairy farms in the Telangana state of India, as well as the associated risk factors, in order to implement effective preventive measures for disease control. A total of 469 blood samples were collected from 67 herds/farms in different areas, covering 20 administrative districts in the state. These samples consisted of 253 from cattle and 216 from buffaloes. Questionnaires were used to collect data on host and epidemiological factors. The collected sera were tested using the gold standard serological test, the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT), which employed a panel of 18 reference serovars for Leptospira exposure. The statistical analysis of epidemiological data was carried out to identify the risk factors associated with Leptospira exposure. The overall observed seroprevalence at the animal and farm levels was 41.4% and 77.6%, respectively. The most prevalent anti-leptospiral antibodies were observed against the serogroups Icterohaemorrhagiae (32.4%), Pomona (22.2%), Javanica (19.1%), Australis (17.0%), Bataviae (15.5%), Autumnalis (12.9%), Hebdomadis (12.9%), and others, in the total reacting samples. At the animal level, the significant risk factors associated with exposure to Leptospira species were breed (p = 0.03) and health status (p = 0.03). Furthermore, the multivariate statistical analysis of farm factors revealed that farm size (p = 0.05), presence of dogs (p = 0.04) and rodents (p = 0.01) on the farm, use of fodder from wet soils (p = 0.04), and proximity to water bodies (p = 0.04) were significantly associated with exposure to Leptospira in the studied region. This study provides the first report from India highlighting the important risk factors at the herd/farm and animal level associated with Leptospira infections in cattle and buffaloes. The findings contribute to strengthening the one-health strategy by facilitating the design and planning of appropriate control measures to alleviate the burden of leptospirosis in bovines.

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The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon request.


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The authors wish to thank the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, India, for encouragement and support. The authors also thank the ICAR-NIVEDI staff for constant support and timely help and the Telangana state, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Departments and their officials, field veterinarians, and paraveterinarians for their assistance during samples and data collection in the survey and their kind cooperation. The first author also thanked the staff of the Department of Microbiology, Veterinary College, Hebbal, and College of Veterinary Science, Korutla, for their constant support and timely help.


This research work is part of the Ph.D. program of First Author, and the research project work was carried out in ICAR-NIVEDI with a part funding from the ICAR-Network project on Outreach Programme on Zoonotic Diseases (F.No. AS/14(1)/2009- ASR-IV).

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SM: experiment design, methodology, investigation, field survey, writing original draft, interpreting, and analysis of the data; KVK: laboratory investigation, data analysis, mapping, references, and editing and formatting manuscript; AA: laboratory investigation; EK: sample collection and field survey; HMS: guidance and editing; GG: data analysis and statistical analysis; MN: sample design; VMB: experiment design, methodology, investigation, and editing; YNR: guidance, methodology, and editing; BRS: guidance and administration support; VB: conceptualization, investigation, funding acquisition, resource, project administration, visualization, supervision, review, re-writing, and copy-editing. All authors read and agreed to publish the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Vinayagamurthy Balamurugan.

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The manuscript does not contain animal experimental trials. No ethical clearance is required for collecting small volumes of blood samples required for seroepidemiological studies, as per CPCSEA (Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals) guidelines. Moreover, the serum samples were collected by well-trained veterinarians concerning animal welfare regulations for the diagnosis of disease along with questionnaire data after obtaining the oral concern from the farm/ animal owners.

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Menamvar, S., Kumar, K.V., Alamuri, A. et al. Seroprevalence and associated risk factors of leptospirosis in bovine dairy farms in Telangana state, India. Trop Anim Health Prod 55, 352 (2023).

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