The main goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of leptospirosis among field rodents of Tiruchirappalli district, Tamil Nadu, India. In total 35 field rats were trapped and tested for seroprevalence by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Isolation of leptospires was performed from blood and kidney tissues and characterized to serovar level. Genomospecies identification was carried out using 16S rRNA and lipL32 gene sequencing. The molecular phylogeny was constructed to find out species segregation. Seroprevalence was about 51.4 %, and the predominant serovars were Autumnalis, Javanica, Icterohaemorrhagiae and Pomona. Two isolates from the kidneys were identified as serovar Javanica of Serogroup Javanica, and sequence based molecular phylogeny indicated these two isolates were Leptospira borgpetersenii.
Leptospirosis; Leptospira borgpetersenii; lipL32; 16S rRNA
Epidemiologic studies have linked interactions with cats as a risk factor for human leptospirosis, but serosurveys of feline Leptospira spp. infection are scarce in the veterinary literature. The objective of this study was to conduct a serosurvey of Leptospira spp. infection in cats presenting to an eastern Canadian veterinary teaching hospital (VTH). All serum samples collected from cats presented to the VTH were tested by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for the Leptospira serovars Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Bratislava, Pomona, and Autumnalis. Ten of 40 cats [25%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 12.7% to 41.2%] tested had positive antibody titers (≥ 1:100). All 10 cats with positive titers were positive for Bratislava and 2 were also positive for Autumnalis. This high incidence of seropositivity for Leptospira spp. may suggest that the disease could be of more clinical importance than previously recognized.
The objectives of the present study were to verify the seroprevalence of anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies, identify the most frequent serovars and the risk factors associated with the infection in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A total of 334 ovines blood samples were collected in 12 farms from Uberlândia municipality to be evaluated by means the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) against 22 serovars of Leptospira spp. and an epidemiologic questionnaire was applied for each farm in order to correlate with risk factors of leptospirosis: sex, age and breed as well as contact with cattle, contact with dogs and presence of rodents. The prevalence of seropositive to MAT was found in seventy four ovines (22.2%; CI 95% 17.6–26.4%), with titers ranging from 100 to 3200. The most frequent serovars identified were: Hardjo, Autumnalis, Hardjo and Wolffi association and Grippotyphosa. Statistically significant differences were found in males, pure breeds and presence of rodents (p<0.05). The prevalence of anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies found in the present study demonstrated that this bacterium occurs in ovines of Uberlândia municipality, MG, Brazil. The need for the adoption of efficient management for the control of rodents and infection in ovines in order to avoid leptospirosis in the local flocks and future transmission to humans.
leptospirosis; seroprevalence; serovars; sheep
Serology plays an important role in the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Few laboratories have the resources, expertise, or facilities to perform the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Thus, there is a need for a rapid and simple serological test that could be used in any diagnostic laboratory. In this study, a genus-specific, heat-stable antigenic preparation from Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona was used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of leptospiral antibodies in dog sera. This antigenic preparation reacted with rabbit antisera against L. interrogans serovars bratislava, autumnalis, icterohaemorrhagiae and pomona and with rabbit antiserum against L. kirschneri serovar grippotyphosa. The ELISA showed a relative specificity of 95.6% with 158 dog sera which were negative at a dilution of 1:100 in the MAT for serovars pomona, bratislava, icterohaemorrhagiae, autumnalis, hardjo, and grippotyphosa. The relative sensitivity of this assay with 21 dog sera that revealed serovars MAT titres of > or =100 to different serovars was 100%. This assay is easily standardized, technically more advantageous than MAT, and uses an antigenic preparation that can be routinely prepared in large amounts. It was concluded that this ELISA is sufficiently sensitive test to be used as an initial screening test for the detection of leptospiral antibodies in canine sera, with subsequent confirmation of positive test results with the MAT.
Sera from Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses in southwest Ontario were tested for antibody to seven Leptospira interrogans serovars (autumnalis, bratislava, canicola, grippotyphosa, hardjo, icterohaemorrhagiae, pomona), using the microscopic agglutination test. There was significantly higher seroprevalence of bratislava than of other serovars, in which prevalence was low. Seroprevalence of bratislava increased significantly with age; only 5% of two to three year old horses had titers greater than or equal to 1:80 compared to 52% of horses older than seven years. Eight of 16 foals from two farms seroconverted at low titers to bratislava between four and eight months of age. Leptospires were not detected by immunofluorescence and isolation techniques in 50 kidneys collected from horses at slaughter. Fetal tissues from 52 aborted horse fetuses were also examined by these methods and serovar kennewicki was identified by immunofluorescence and by isolation in one fetus. Serovar bratislava appears to be widespread in horses in Ontario but unimportant in abortion. The clinical significance of this infection in horses in Ontario is unclear.
Serological surveys of leptospiral antibodies in cattle were carried out in Macon and the surrounding counties of East Central Alabama. A total of 286 bovine serum samples were screened for the presence of antibodies against live antigens from twelve pathogenic leptospiral serotypes using a microscopic agglutination test. The most frequently encountered serotypes were Leptospira hardjo (47%), Leptospira wolffi (34%), Leptospira canicola (12%), Leptospira pomona (10%) and Leptospira ballum (10%). Leptospira autumnalis, Leptospira grippotyphosa, Leptospira icterohemorrhagiae, Leptospira pyrogenes and Leptospira tarassovi were observed in less than 5% of the samples.
A total of 270 serum samples collected in Chiang Mai province were examined for antibodies against leptospira using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Four of 40 serum specimens from patients who visited the hospital with the common cold, were positive with a titre of 20. Twelve (10.4%) of the 115 samples in the Doi Saket district showed a positive reaction. Only 2 of 115 sera of school children in Chiang Mai city had antibodies. Specific serovars detected were Leptospira hebdomadis (5), L. australis (3), L. icterohaemorrhagiae (2), L. bataviae (2), and one each of L. canicola, L. javanica and L. pyrogenes. One case of mixed infection with L. hebdomadis and L. javanica, and L. autumnalis and L. australis were observed.
Our objective was to identify local animal reservoirs of leptospirosis to explain the unusual features of Leptospira strains recently described among patients on the island of Mayotte. By means of a microscopic agglutination test using local clinical isolates, we found that 11.2% of black rats were seropositive to Leptospira, whereas 10.2% of flying foxes, 2% of lemurs, 93.1% of domestic dogs, and 87.5% of stray dogs were seropositive. As observed in humans, Mini was the main serogroup circulating in animals, whereas serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was absent. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we also showed that 29.8% of rats carried leptospires in their kidneys. The sequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences of Leptospira found in black rat kidneys identified four genomospecies (Leptospira borgpetersenii, Leptospira interrogans, Leptospira kirschneri, and L. borgpetersenii group B), which established black rats as the major source of leptospirosis transmission to humans. The origins of such a genetic diversity in Leptospira strains are discussed.
Rats are known to be the most important reservoirs and transmission sources of leptospirosis. However, the status of leptospirosis in the Philippines regarding reservoirs and transmission remains unknown. A survey was conducted in Metro Manila and Laguna that analyzed samples obtained from 106 rats. Using the microscopic agglutination test, we found that 92% of rat serum samples were positive for anti-Leptospira antibodies; the most common infecting serovars were Manilae, Hebdomadis, and Losbanos. On the basis of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and gyrase B gene sequence analyses, four groups of rat kidney isolates were found: L. interrogans serovar Manilae, serovar Losbanos, and serogroup Grippotyphosa, and L. borgpetersenii serogroup Javanica. Most isolates were lethal after experimental infection of golden Syrian hamsters. Results showed that these four Leptospira serovars and serogroups are circulating among rats, and that these animals may be one of the possible transmission sources of leptospirosis in the Philippines.
A survey was conducted to identify reservoirs for urban leptospirosis in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Sampling protocols were performed in the vicinity of households of severe leptospirosis cases identified during active hospital-based surveillance. Among a total of 142 captured Rattus norvegicus (Norwegian brown rat), 80.3% had a positive culture isolate from urine or kidney specimens and 68.1% had a positive serum sample by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titre of ≥1:100. Monoclonal antibody-based typing of isolates identified that the agent carried by rats was L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni, which was the same serovar isolated from patients during hospital-based surveillance. Leptospira spp. were not isolated from 8 captured Didelphis marsupialis (Opossum), while 5/7 had a positive MAT titre against a saprophytic serogroup. R. rattus were not captured during the survey. The study findings indicate that the brown rat is a major rodent reservoir for leptospirosis in this urban setting. Furthermore, the high carriage rates of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni in captured rats suggest that there is a significant degree of environmental contamination with this agent in the household environment of high risk areas, which in turn is a cause of transmission during urban epidemics.
Leptospira; Leptospirosis; Rats; Poverty Areas
A murine monoclonal antibody (designated M553) that binds to an epitope on whole cell antigens prepared from Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar hardjo type hardjobovis and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo type hardjoprajitno, was produced and incorporated into a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of bovine antibodies to serovar hardjo. The epitope recognized by M553 was susceptible to periodate oxidation. The M553 antibody was characterized by western blot with hardjobovis whole cell antigen. This antibody does not cross-react with whole cell antigens prepared from 11 other pathogenic Leptospira serovars, or, Leptospira biflexa serovar patoc. The sensitivity estimate of the competitive ELISA was 100% with field sera (n = 165) with serovar hardjo microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titres of > or = 100. The specificity estimate was 100% with sera (n = 128) obtained from a specific pathogen free herd of cattle that were negative in the MAT at a dilution of 1:100 for serovars hardjo, pomona, sejroe, copenhageni, canicola, and grippotyphosa. The specificity estimate with field sera (n = 301) with serovar hardjo MAT titres of < 100, was 98% (95% confidence interval = +/- 1.58%). There was no cross-reactivity with field sera (n = 306) with serovar pomona titres > or = 100 and serovar hardjo titres < 100. The specificity estimate with the combined populations of sera with serovar hardjo MAT titres of < 100 (n = 735) was 99.18% (95% confidence interval = +/- 0.65%). There was a high level of agreement (kappa = 0.977) between the results of the competitive ELISA and those of the MAT.
A survey of 930 ovine sera and kidneys from 33 sheep was conducted to assess the rate of leptospiral infection in sheep slaughtered in Alberta. Sera were tested for the presence of agglutinins to indigenous serovars of Leptospira interrogans. Kidneys with gross lesions were examined for the presence of leptospires by means of an indirect fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and by culture. Antibodies to serovars pomona and hardjo were present at rates of 1.0% and 0.4%, respectively, in sheep from Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Sera from 120 feedlot lambs shipped from Oregon reacted to serovars pomona, hardjo and grippotyphosa at rates of 1.7%, 61.7% and 59.1%, respectively. Fluorescent antibody test detected serovars (presumptively) hardjo in 52% of Oregon feedlot lambs and grippotyphosa in 32% of the same group, a finding supported by the isolation of both these serovars from a pool of two fluorescent antibody test-positive kidneys. The grippotyphosa strain was highly virulent for hamsters, producing intense icterus and death. Leptospires, presumptively serovar grippotyphosa were demonstrated by fluorescent antibody test in one Alberta lamb kidney. The possibility of spreading leptospirosis by movement of breeding stock through public facilities and by assembling lambs in feedlots is discussed.
Leptospirosis; sheep; Saskatchewan; Alberta; British Columbia; Oregon; hardjo; grippotyphosa; pomona
Sera from horses in Alberta, submitted to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for routine testing for equine infectious anemia from January 1987 to June 1989, were tested for antibody against 13 serovars of pathogenic Leptospira spp., using the microscopic agglutination test. The purpose of the study was to investigate the prevalence of serum titers to those serovars in horses in Alberta, and to analyze the associated risk factors. Descriptive statistics were compiled and logistic regressions were computed. Titers to L. interrogans serovars icterohaemorrhagiae, bratislava, copenhageni, and autumnalis were common (94.6%, 56.6%, 46.5%, and 43.5%, respectively). The prevalence of titers to other serovars ranged from 0.8% to 27.2%. Age was almost always significantly associated with the presence of titers. In general, the chances of being seropositive rose by approximately 10% with each year of life. Horses managed individually (eg, track horses) were approximately half as likely to be seropositive as were horses managed in groups (eg, rodeo horses).
Pathogenic leptospiras (1,424) isolated from natural waters and wet soils in Malaysia comprised 29 different serovars (synonym serotypes). All except two of the serovars had been found previously in Malaysia. The exceptional serovars were werrasingha, an Autumnalis serogroup member originally isolated in Ceylon, and a new serovar designated evansi. Serovar evansi had serological affinities with serovar ranarum which was isolated from the kidney of a frog in Iowa. The large variety of serovars found in jungle areas was consistent with similar previous findings of diverse serovar infections in troops who had operated in Malaysian jungles.
A survey of 179 animals (black rats, dogs, sheep, buffaloes, cattle, donkeys, weasels, and cats) for Leptospira infection was conducted in Mahalla City (Lower Egypt). Blood, urine, and kidney were collected and tested by culture, microscopic agglutination test (MAT), and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among rats, 26% were positive by PCR, including 7% that were also positive by culture for L. interrogans serovars Grippotyphosa, Pyrogenes, and Icterohaemorrhagiae. L. borpetersenii serovar Polonica was isolated for the first time in Egypt in three rats. MAT titers ≥ 1:800 were observed in 11% of rats and 12% of dogs. L. interrogans serovar Grippotyphosa was detected in one cat. Sheep and donkeys were negative for leptospirosis by all methods. Buffaloes and cattle were seropositive in 20% and 44% of animals, respectively. Data indicate that several pathogenic serovars are circulating in the animals, which may pose exposure risks and account for high rates of acute febrile illness.
Most of the current knowledge of leptospirosis epidemiology originates from serological results obtained with the reference Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). However, inconsistencies and weaknesses of this diagnostic technique are evident. A growing use of PCR has improved the early diagnosis of leptospirosis but a drawback is that it cannot provide information on the infecting Leptospira strain which provides important epidemiologic data. Our work is aimed at evaluating if the sequence polymorphism of diagnostic PCR products could be used to identify the infecting Leptospira strains in the New Caledonian environment.
Both the lfb1 and secY diagnostic PCR products displayed a sequence polymorphism that could prove useful in presumptively identifying the infecting leptospire. Using both this polymorphism and MLST results with New Caledonian isolates and clinical samples, we confirmed the epidemiological relevance of the sequence-based identification of Leptospira strains. Additionally, we identified one cluster of L. interrogans that contained no reference strain and one cluster of L. borgpetersenii found only in the introduced Rusa deer Cervus timorensis russa that is its probable reservoir.
The sequence polymorphism of diagnostic PCR products proved useful in presumptively identifying the infecting Leptospira strains. This could contribute to a better understanding of leptospirosis epidemiology by providing epidemiological information that cannot be directly attained from the use of PCR as an early diagnostic test for leptospirosis.
Incorporation of neomycin to the culture medium was found to be effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli contaminants without interfering with the growth of serotype L. autumnalis. The growth of 12 other Leptospira serotypes was unaffected by the addition of 300 μg of neomycin per ml to Ellinghausen medium or 5 μg/ml to Fletcher medium. Neomycin-containing medium was found to be of value in the isolation of leptospiras from cultures of blood from infected laboratory animals. A higher percentage of isolates was obtained in swine kidneys from an abattoir in medium containing neomycin than resulted from the same medium without antibiotic or with 5-fluorouracil. Contaminated leptospiral cultures growing in media with 5-fluorouracil were purified by subculturing into neomycin-containing media.
With the aim of isolating Leptospira spp., blood serum, kidney, liver and genital tract of 137 female swine (40 sows and 97 gilts) and also urine samples from 22 sows were collected in a slaughterhouse in the State of São Paulo, from April 2003 to August 2004. Four isolates were obtained from animals that presented microagglutination test (MAT) titers ≥ 100 for the serovar Pomona and one was obtained from an animal negative by MAT in which Leptospira was isolated from the liver and reproductive tract. The presence of leptospiral DNA was investigated by PCR, and positive results were found in kidneys of 11 females, liver of two, genital tract of two and urine of one of them. Nephrosis, interstitial multifocal nephritis, moderate to severe changing, hyalines cylinders and hemorrhagic focuses, hepatic and uterine horns congestion were histological lesions observed in higher frequency in animals positive for leptospira. The silver impregnation (Warthin Starry) confirmed the presence of spirochetes in renal tubules of four females with positive leptospira cultures from kidneys. The serogroup of the five isolates was identified as Pomona by cross agglutination with reference polyclonal antibodies. Molecular characterization of the isolates was carried out by variable-number tandem-repeats analysis. All the isolates revealed a pattern distinct from the L. interrogans Pomona type strain, but identical to a previously identified pattern from strains isolated in Argentina belonging to serovar Pomona.
Pomona; Swine; VNTR; Culture; PCR; Genital Tract
Kidneys from 117 cattle from 110 Ontario farms were examined at slaughter for leptospires. Leptospira hardjo (hardjo-bovis A) was isolated from 11 kidneys and L. kennewicki from one. The isolations were all made (12/89, 13.5%) from beef cattle from feedlots, no isolates being obtained from dairy or beef cattle from extensive farms (0/28). Isolations were only made from cattle with antibody titers (greater than or equal to 20) against the serovars recovered. Isolation was more sensitive than immunofluorescence in identifying leptospira, particularly in animals with low antibody titers against L. hardjo. Leptospira were isolated from two kidneys with multiple gross lesions of focal nephritis, but there was no correlation between the presence of scanty kidney lesions and isolations of leptospira. Leptospira hardjo infection appears to be common in Ontario feedlot cattle.
A slide agglutination (SA) test was developed to determine the serogroup of isolates of Treponema hyodysenteriae of serogroups A to F. Rabbit antisera which are normally used for serogrouping T. hyodysenteriae in an agarose gel double-diffusion precipitation test (AGDP) were not suitable for SA because they agglutinated isolates from more than one serogroup. The agglutination reaction was made serogroup-specific by cross-absorbing the typing sera for serogroups A to F with whole treponemes from the other 5 of these 6 serogroups of T. hyodysenteriae. The absorbed sera were reacted in slide agglutination tests with 33 isolates of T. hyodysenteriae and with four non-T. hyodysenteriae intestinal spirochaetes. None of the non-T. hyodysenteriae isolates agglutinated, but 27 of the 33 isolates of T. hyodysenteriae did. The results for 26 of the 27 agglutination reactions agreed with the serogroup as determined in AGDP. One of the 6 isolates of T. hyodysenteriae which failed to react in slide agglutination was of serogroup B, 1 of serogroup D, 1 each were from new serogroups G, H and I, and 1 was untypable in AGDP.
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease. In the present investigation, a total of 89 human sera from a flood prone district of Bangladesh was screened by a one-point microscapsule agglutination test (MCAT). MCAT-positive and -doubtful sera were further tested by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) against 16 reference serovars of Leptospira interrogans, and the antibody titres determined. In MCAT, 34 sera were positive and 22 were doubtful. Among those positive and doubtful sera, 33 and 20, respectively were tested by MAT. Thirty-four out of 53 MCAT-screened samples were MAT-positive. The titres ranged from 20 to 1600 with antibodies to serovars copenhageni, australis, cynopteri and icterohaemorrhagiae being the most prevalent. Eleven MCAT-positive samples failed to react with any strains used by MAT, suggesting the presence of new or untested serovars. Among the MAT-positive samples, the presence of antibody against two or more serovars was more common than that of a single serovar. The present study suggests that rural people in Bangladesh are at high risk to leptospiral infection.
Serum samples obtained from patients hospitalized in Barbados with severe leptospirosis were tested by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and immunoblotting with leptospires that had been isolated from these patients. While serum samples taken a few days after onset of symptoms often showed no apparent correlation between MAT and EIA, later sequential serum samples produced similar profiles in both tests during the course of infection. Immunoblotting sonicate from Leptospira interrogans serovars arborea, copenhageni and bim with patients' sera, revealed reactions with a number of bands that corresponded with outer envelope components. These components included lipopolysaccharide (LPS), flagella and other outer membrane proteins, in addition to a low-molecular-weight (MW) carbohydrate cross-reactive with members of the Leptospiraceae. IgM antibodies elicited in the first to second week after infection reacted mainly with LPS and the low-MW cross-reactive carbohydrate. Comparative analysis of isolates of the same serovar by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting showed that while two serovar arborea isolates were identical, serovar bim isolates differed significantly from each other. This difference was also observed in comparative MAT testing.
To detect leptospiral antibodies by microscopic agglutination test (MAT) in north-east of Iran.
This study was conducted to evaluate prevalence of human leptospiral infections by MAT, using six current reference strains of Leptospira interrogans in north-east of Iran. A total of 285 serum samples were collected from three north-east provinces of Iran, from December, 2009 to June, 2010.
Antibodies were detected at least against one serovar of Leptospira interrogans in 45 sera (15.79 %) among 285 samples at a dilution 1:100 or greater. Positive titers against more than one serovar were detected in 24 sera of the positive samples. Therefore, there were 75 positive reactions against different serovar of Leptospira interrogans. Positive titers were recorded against serovar icterohaemorrhagiae (31 samples), hardjo (26 samples), grippotyphosa (7 samples), pomona (5 samples), canicola (4 samples) and ballum (2 sample).
In present study the most prevalent (Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae) and the least prevalent (Leptospira ballum) serovar are different from previous studies. Maybe, species and prevalence of serovars change during the time in one area and between regions.
Leptospirosis; Microscopic agglutination test; Human; Iran; Prevalence; Leptospiral infection; Serovar
A new serovar of Leptospira interrogans was isolated from a dog in Barbados. The proposed name of the new serovar is bim, and the designated type strain is 1051. The serogroup of the new serovar is the Autumnalis serogroup. The new serovar was subsequently isolated from six patients with leptospirosis in Barbados.
The investigations described were designed to identify the cause of serological reactions to Leptospira interrogans serovars hardjo and sejroe in Canadian cattle, and to confirm by culture a diagnosis of leptospirosis in cases of reproductive failure and atypical mastitis.
Leptospires were detected in ten of 64 urine cultures, nine of 18 kidney cultures, and one of nine cerebrospinal fluid cultures. Twelve strains were purified. All were placed in the serogroup which contains serovars hardjo and sejroe. The nine strains which were fully serotyped were considered to be identical with serovar hardjo strain hardjoprajitno. Hardjo was isolated from cattle in the presence or absence of clinical disease and of antibody detectable by the microscopic agglutination test. Hardjo antigen was more sensitive than sejroe in detecting agglutinins in 58% of actively infected cattle and equal in 25%, as shown by comparative serum titrations.
Leptospira; hardjo; sejroe; culture; serology; mastitis; abortion; Canada