Social and environmental risk factors for canine leptospirosis: A scoping review protocol.
Leptospirosis is a ubiquitous, climate-sensitive bacterial zoonoses and a growing One Health problem (Goarant, 2015; Shearer et al., 2014). Leptospirosis is an underrecognized cause of morbidity and mortality in most mammalian species, including wildlife, livestock, companion animals, and humans. Animals can become infected with Leptospira bacteria through direct exposure to urine from infected wildlife and other animals, or through indirect exposure to urine-contaminated food, water, or soil (Goarant, 2015). Dogs play an important role in the transmission of leptospirosis to humans and other animals due to their frequent interactions with the natural environment and humans. Despite this, canine leptospirosis is poorly understood. Prevalence of canine leptospirosis is widespread and is expected to continue to increase, in part due to changing climatic conditions that support increased disease spread (Lau et al., 2010). Risk factors for canine leptospirosis are not well understood. Some studies have identified wet environmental conditions (Goarant, 2016; Smith et al., 2019), temperature (Goarant, 2016; Smith et al., 2019), rurality (Goarant, 2016; Taylor et al., 2021), sex/neuter status (Smith et al., 2019; Taylor et al., 2021), and breed (Smith et al., 2019; Taylor et al., 2021) as risk factors. However, conflicting evidence for the role of sex/neuter status, breed, and temperature exists (Goarant, 2016; Smith et al., 2019; Taylor et al., 2021). A large knowledge gap exists with respect to broader environmental risk factors for canine leptospirosis. Given the paucity of evidence, increasing prevalence, and sensitivity to climate change, conducting a scoping review will summarize important upstream social and environmental risk factors for canine leptospirosis that have been described in peer-reviewed and grey literature. Identifying these factors will assist with future research initiatives.