A serological survey of leptospiral antibodies in dogs in New Zealand

Harland, A.L., Cave, N.J., Jones, B.R., Benschop, J., Donald, J.J., Midwinter, A., Squires, R.A., and Collins-Emerson, J.M. (2011) A serological survey of leptospiral antibodies in dogs in New Zealand. [Pre Print] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

AIM: To investigate the prevalence of titres to four endemic leptospiral serovars in dog sera submitted to diagnostic laboratories with the purpose of identifying patterns of risk, and generating further hypotheses for investigation of canine leptospirosis in New Zealand.

METHODS: Serum samples from 655 dogs were sourced from the central and lower North Island and from the South Island of New Zealand in 2005. They were screened by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) against Leptospira interrogans serovars Copenhageni, Pomona and Ballum and L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo-bovis. Variables investigated for their association with seropositivity to leptospirosis included serovar, breed, region, North vs. South Island, age and gender.

RESULTS: Positive MAT titres to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni were found in more than 10% of dogs. Titres to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni were more common in New Zealand dogs than other leptospiral serovars. The prevalence of titres to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni was similar to the prevalence reported in 2002. Small breeds of dogs did not have a lower prevalence of Copenhageni titres than other breeds. Positive titres to Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo-bovis were associated with working breeds. No association could be made between positive titres and region. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of positive titres between dogs from the North or South Islands. Dogs greater than 12 years of age were less likely to have positive titres to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni than younger dogs. No association could be made between positive titres and gender.

CONCLUSIONS: Working dog breeds more frequently had titres to Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo-bovis when compared to other breeds and are at greater risk of infection by this serovar. Small breed dogs were likely to have similar risk of titres to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni when compared to other breeds. There was no significant difference between the North Island and South Island in the prevalence of titres to leptospirosis in dogs, however only low numbers of working breeds and South Island dogs were included in the study. Further study should be undertaken to confirm the prevalence of positive titres to leptospirosis in working dogs and dogs resident in the South Island.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The risk of dogs being exposed to Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni, and therefore recommendation for vaccination against serovar Copenhageni, cannot be determined by geographical location or urban versus rural residence. Vaccination against Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjobovis is likely to be beneficial in working dogs. When using the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT) to aid diagnosis of acute infection, testing for multiple serovars may be indicated.

Item ID: 18304
Item Type: Pre Print
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2011 04:42
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070706 Veterinary Medicine @ 100%
SEO Codes: 86 MANUFACTURING > 8609 Veterinary Pharmaceutical Products > 860902 Veterinary Diagnostics @ 50%
86 MANUFACTURING > 8609 Veterinary Pharmaceutical Products > 860901 Veterinary Biological Preventatives (e.g. Vaccines) @ 50%
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