[Source: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Exposure to Rats and Rat-Associated Leptospira and Bartonella Species Among People Who Use Drugs in an Impoverished, Inner-City Neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada
To cite this article: McVea David A., Himsworth Chelsea G., Patrick David M., Lindsay L. Robbin, Kosoy Michael, and Kerr Thomas. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. January 2018, ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2017.2179
Online Ahead of Print: January 3, 2018
Author information: David A. McVea,1,* Chelsea G. Himsworth,1,2,* David M. Patrick,1 L. Robbin Lindsay,3 Michael Kosoy,4 and Thomas Kerr5,6
1School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. 2BC Node, Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, Abbotsford, Canada. 3National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada. 4Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado. 5British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, Canada. 6Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Address correspondence to: Chelsea G. Himsworth, School of Population and Public Health, University of British ColumbiaVancouver V6T 1Z3, British Columbia, Canada
Rat infestations are common, particularly in impoverished, inner-city neighborhoods. However, there has been little research into the nature and consequences of rat exposure in these neighborhoods, particularly in Canada. In this study, we sought to characterize exposure to rats and rat-associated Leptospira interrogans and Bartonella tribocorum, as well as risk factors associated with exposure, in residents (n = 202) of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada. There was no evidence of exposure to rat-associated L. interrogans but 6/202 (3.0%) of participants were exposed to B. tribocorum, which is known to be circulating among DTES rats. We also found that frequent and close rat exposure was common among DTES residents, and that this exposure was particularly associated with injection drug use and outdoor income-generating activities (e.g., drug dealing). These risk factors may be good targets for interventions geared toward effectively reducing rat exposure.
Keywords: Illicit Drugs Users; Bartonella spp.; Leptospira spp.