Leptospira in slaughtered fattening pigs in southern Vietnam: Presence of the bacteria in the kidneys and association with morphological findings

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Centre of Reproductive Biology in Uppsala (CRU), Uppsala, Sweden.
Veterinary Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.51). 07/2003; 93(4):361-8. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1135(03)00042-7
Source: PubMed


One kidney was collected from each of 32 fattening pigs at an abattoir in southern Vietnam in 2001 in order to demonstrate infecting Leptospira serovar and to associate renal macro- and microscopic findings with the presence of renal leptospires. Leptospires were demonstrated in 22 (69%) of the investigated kidneys by immunofluorescence. Multifocal interstitial nephritis (MFIN) and gross renal lesions (white spots) were each demonstrated in 24 (75%) kidneys. Leptospira interrogans serovar bratislava was isolated from one kidney. There was no association between presence of leptospires and MFIN (P=0.19), respectively and white spots (P=0.98), respectively. These data suggest that Leptospira infection is common among fattening pigs in the study area and that these animals may be considered as an occupational human health hazard. It is also suggested that the presence of white spots is an unreliable indicator of the presence of renal leptospires.

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    ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis is an infectious disease of worldwide importance. The development of diagnostic techniques allows sick animals to be identified, reservoirs to be eliminated and the disease prevented and controlled. The present study aimed to compare different techniques for diagnosing leptospirosis in sheep. Samples of kidney, liver and blood were collected from 465 animals that originated from a slaughterhouse. The sera were analyzed by the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT), and kidney and liver samples of seropositive animals were analyzed using four techniques: bacteriological culture, the Warthin Starry (WS) technique, conventional PCR (cPCR), and quantitative PCR (qPCR). With the MAT, 21 animals were positive (4.5%) to serovars Hardjo (n=12), Hebdomadis (n=5), Sentot (n=2), Wolfii (n=1) and Shermani (n=1). Titers were 100 (n=10), 200 (n=2), 400 (n=6) and 1600 (n=3). No animal was positive by bacteriological culture; four animals were positive by the WS technique in kidney samples; six animals were positive by cPCR in kidney samples; and 11 animals were positive by qPCR, eight of which in kidney samples and three in liver. The bacterial quantification revealed a median of 4.3 bacteria/μL in liver samples and 36.6 bacteria/μL in kidney samples. qPCR presented the highest sensitivity among the techniques, followed by cPCR, the WS technique and bacteriological culture. These results indicate that sheep can carry leptospires of the Sejroe serogroup, and demonstrate the efficiency of quantitative PCR to detect Leptospira spp. in tissue samples.
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    • "Interstitial nephritis, commonly known as " white-spotted kidneys " , may be of infectious or non-infectious origin and according to the duration it is further classified as acute, subacute or chronic. Although this type of lesions can be caused by a variety of infectious agents, an association between interstitial nephritis and leptospirosis has been described (Baker et al 1989, Maxie 2007) but, this association is controversial (Jones et al 1987, Boqvist et al 2003). Leptospirosis is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by various serovars of Leptospira interrogans, which affect a large number of wild and domestic species. "
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    • "For many years, one of the bacteria that has been traditionally associated with these lesions is Leptospira interrogans (Michna and Campbell, 1969; Jones et al., 1987; Baker et al., 1989), although most recent reports failed to demonstrate this association (Drolet et al., 2002; Boqvist et al., 2003). Leptospirosis is an infectious zoonosis caused by various serovars of L. interrogans sp., which affect a large number of wild and domestic species. "
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    Research in Veterinary Science 09/2006; 81(1):92-8. DOI:10.1016/j.rvsc.2005.10.005 · 1.41 Impact Factor
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