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Serovars of Leptospira isolated from dogs and rodents

  • S. M. SUEPAUL (a1), C. V. F. CARRINGTON (a2), M. CAMPBELL (a1), G. BORDE (a1) and A. A. ADESIYUN (a1)...

We determined the frequency of isolation of Leptospira from dogs and rodents, the serovars of Leptospira, and the clinical, gross and histological manifestations in dogs with leptospirosis in Trinidad. From dogs, samples of urine, blood and kidney were collected while only kidney and blood samples of trapped rodents were used. Isolates were cultured and serotyped using a panel of 23 international serovars and monoclonal antibodies. The risk factors for leptospirosis were also determined in owned dogs using a standard questionnaire. Of a total of 468 animals investigated for Leptospira, 70 (15·0%) were positive, comprising nine (18·0%) of 50 suspected canine leptospirosis cases, seven (3·4%) of 207 stray dogs and 54 (25·6%) of 211 rodents. The observation that rodents have a statistically (P<0·05, χ2) higher frequency of isolation emphasizes the importance of rodents as reservoirs of leptospirosis in the country. Copenhageni was the predominant serovar found in 100·0% (7/7), 33·3% (2/6) and 68·5% (37/54) of isolates from suspected canine leptospirosis cases, stray dogs and rodents, respectively. Serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola, the two serovars present in the commercial vaccines used locally, were detected in one (1·5%) and zero (0·0%) isolates respectively of the 67 tested. Data provided suggest that the apparent vaccine failure may be a consequence of the fact that the predominant serovar (Copenhageni) detected in sick, apparently healthy dogs and in rodents is not contained in the vaccines used locally to protect dogs against canine leptospirosis.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Professor A. A. Adesiyun, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Trinidad, West Indies. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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