Rodent Control a Tool for Prevention of Leptospirosis - A Success Story on Human Leptospirosis with Gujarat State

  • AMK Mohan Rao Consultant, National Institute of Rural Development, Rajendranagar, Hyderaabad and Former Joint Director, National Institute of Plant Health Management, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
Keywords: Leptospirosis, Disease, Rodents, Vector Control, Lesser Bandicoot


Leptospirosis is a debilitating zoonosis for humans as well as domestic animals worldwide and widespread in tropical and sub tropical areas with high rainfall. India being a tropical country is potential for this debilitating disease. Among mammals, rodents are most important and widely distributed reservoirs of leptospiral infection. Four species of rodents i.e., Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus, Bandicota indica and Bandicota bengalensis, are known vectors for this disease and transmit the infection in rural and urban areas. Hence, rodent control in larger areas is recommended for preventing the spread of this disease. Gujarat is one of the States having established leptospirosis endemic pockets, particularly in Valsad, Navsari, Tapi and Surat districts. Hence, the Departments of Health and Agriculture, Gujarat conducted coordinated rodent vector control campaigns to prevent the disease spread. All activities were guided by National Institute of Plant Health Management, Hyderabad and funded under National Plan on Rodent Pest Management of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The initial pilot scale rodent control campaigns conducted in 114 villages covering 5,127 hectares jointly by Agriculture and Health Departments of the state in 2009 brought a reduction of 61% leptospirosis disease prevalence. Following this success, large scale community based rodent control campaigns were organized during 2012 in these districts in 1822 villages covering 4,70,782 hectares and obtained 82% reduction in the disease prevalence. It was observed that the inter-departmental coordination of Agriculture and Health Departments brought these significant results, which can be replicated and adopted elsewhere to prevent leptospirosis in the country.

How to cite this article:
Rao AMKM. Rodent Control a Tool for Prevention of Leptospirosis - A Success Story on Human Leptospirosis with Gujarat State. J Commun Dis 2020; 52(3): 38-42.



Anon. Minutes of the meeting of 3rd Expert Committee on Rodent Control. Government of India. 2004. 1-10.

Gangadhar NL. Rodents and leptospirosis: A global perspective. Proc. 1st Natl Leptospirosis Conf.,

Bangalore. 1999; 11-13.

John TJ. Emerging and reemerging pathogens in India. Indian J Med Res 1996; 103: 4-18.

Joshi BA, Kagal A, Bharadwaj RS. Leptospirosis – a reemerging infection in Maharashtra. In: Proc. 1st Natl.

Leptospirosis Conf., Bangalore: 9. 1999.

Krishnappa G, Moorthy ARS. An anamnesis of leptospira research in Karnataka. Prof. 1st National Leptospirosis

Conference, Bangalore, 1-6. 1999.

Mathur RP, Radhakrishnan, Sivaprakasam J, Dhanraj C. Rodent control campaign in leptospirosis prone area

in Chennai. Pestology 2000; 24: 74-80.

Muthusethupathi MA. Human leptospirosis – clinical manifestations. In: Proc. 1st Natl Leptospirosis Conf,

Bangalore. 1999; 1-6.

Nainan GK. Human Leptospirosis – Kerala experience. Proc. 1st Leptospirosis Conference, Bangalore. 1999; 6-9.

Rao AMKM. Rodent control operations as a component of integrated pest management and the role of

Government agencies in rodent pest management. Rodent Newsletter 1992; 16: 23-24.

Rao AMKM. Rodent problems in India and strategies for their management. In: Rats, Mice and People: Rodent Biology and Management (Eds. Singleton, GR., Krebs, CJ and Spratt, DM), ACIAR, Canberra. 2003; 229-232.

Rao AMKM. Preventive measures for Leptospirosis: Rodent Control. Indian J Medical Microbiology 2006;

: 325-328.

Schultz TW. Investment in human capital. Am Econ Rev 1961; 52: 1-17.

Sehgal SC, Sugunan AP. Leptospirosis in Andamans. In: Proc 1st Leptospirosis Conference, Bangalore. 1999; 5.

Vyas HJ, Kotadia VS, Butani PG. Glimpses of Research on Rodent Management in Gujarat (1988-1999). 2000;


WHO. Leptospirosis worldwide, 1999. Weekly Epidemiological Record 1999; 29: 237-142.

WHO. Leptospirosis, India. Weekly epidemiological Record 2000; 27: 217-223.

WHO. Onchococerctasis: Strategic direction for Research. 2002; 1.