Comparison of leptospiral serovars identification by serology and cultivation in northeastern region, Thailand.
ABSTRACT Blood from patients suspected of leptospirosis 148 specimens were cultured for leptospira. Twenty two specimens were positive (15%). The isolated leptospira were tested against the 24 serovars of standard antisera by Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). It was found that all 22 leptospira isolates reacted strongly against L. autumnalis, except 1 isolate that also reacted against serovar djasiman. The patient's sera were collected from only 14 cases. When the sera of the 14 patients were tested with the 24 reference serovars by MAT it was found that sera reacted the most against L. australis and in decreasing order against L. bratislava, L. autumnalis, L. rachmati, L. copenhageni, L. javanica. There had some cross reactions against several serovars in a single patient. The present study showed inconsistency between culture results and serum assays. Since sera showed cross reactivities against several serovars, it was not possible to determine which serovar was etiologic. Therefore, the isolation of leptospira though time consuming is specific in the identification of the serovar.