Research Topic

Recent Advances in Immunity to Leptospira

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About this Research Topic

Leptospirosis is the most spread zoonosis of human and veterinary concerns. Pathogenic Leptospira spp. are the etiologic agents of leptospirosis. The global burden of leptospirosis is estimated to be over one million annual cases. In developing countries, areas with inadequate infrastructure favor the proliferation of rats, the main reservoir of Leptospira. Humans are generally infected through direct or indirect contact with the urine of infected animals. Due to undifferentiated symptoms, leptospirosis is commonly misdiagnosed as other acute febrile syndromes. Consequently, the incidence of leptospirosis is likely underestimated. In developed countries, this disease is mostly associated with water-related recreational activities or occupational activities. Leptospirosis has also an economic impact worldwide as it affects livestock, by decreasing milk production and causing premature death.

Prophylactic measures, such as vaccination, are the most viable strategies for the control of leptospirosis. In spite of the efforts for the development of an effective vaccine against the disease, few advances have been made. Currently, bacterin-based immunization using whole inactivated bacteria cells or membrane preparations of pathogenic leptospires are the only options for the prevention of leptospirosis. However, this approach is limited by a series of drawbacks, including serovar-dependence and short-term immunity. The lack of understanding of the immune mechanisms involved during leptospiral infection has impaired the development of effective strategies to control this disease.

This Research Topic aims to fill the gaps of immunity mechanisms associated with pathogenic Leptospira in hosts, covering many aspects of the immune response induced or escaped by this pathogen. This includes:

· innate and adaptive immune response
· identification of surface-exposed immunogenic antigens
· therapeutic and host-directed strategies targeting the immune system
· animal models for the study of the immune response during acute, sub-lethal and persistent infection
· immunization and protection against lethal infection in the hamster model of leptospirosis
· new adjuvants for vaccines against Leptospirosis
· early diagnostic marker of leptospirosis


Keywords: Leptospira, leptospirosis, neglected disease, immune response


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Leptospirosis is the most spread zoonosis of human and veterinary concerns. Pathogenic Leptospira spp. are the etiologic agents of leptospirosis. The global burden of leptospirosis is estimated to be over one million annual cases. In developing countries, areas with inadequate infrastructure favor the proliferation of rats, the main reservoir of Leptospira. Humans are generally infected through direct or indirect contact with the urine of infected animals. Due to undifferentiated symptoms, leptospirosis is commonly misdiagnosed as other acute febrile syndromes. Consequently, the incidence of leptospirosis is likely underestimated. In developed countries, this disease is mostly associated with water-related recreational activities or occupational activities. Leptospirosis has also an economic impact worldwide as it affects livestock, by decreasing milk production and causing premature death.

Prophylactic measures, such as vaccination, are the most viable strategies for the control of leptospirosis. In spite of the efforts for the development of an effective vaccine against the disease, few advances have been made. Currently, bacterin-based immunization using whole inactivated bacteria cells or membrane preparations of pathogenic leptospires are the only options for the prevention of leptospirosis. However, this approach is limited by a series of drawbacks, including serovar-dependence and short-term immunity. The lack of understanding of the immune mechanisms involved during leptospiral infection has impaired the development of effective strategies to control this disease.

This Research Topic aims to fill the gaps of immunity mechanisms associated with pathogenic Leptospira in hosts, covering many aspects of the immune response induced or escaped by this pathogen. This includes:

· innate and adaptive immune response
· identification of surface-exposed immunogenic antigens
· therapeutic and host-directed strategies targeting the immune system
· animal models for the study of the immune response during acute, sub-lethal and persistent infection
· immunization and protection against lethal infection in the hamster model of leptospirosis
· new adjuvants for vaccines against Leptospirosis
· early diagnostic marker of leptospirosis


Keywords: Leptospira, leptospirosis, neglected disease, immune response


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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