Article Text

Short Communication
Serology and PCR for bovine leptospirosis: herd and individual approaches
  1. D. Y. Otaka, DVM, MSc1,
  2. G. Martins, DVM, MSc1,
  3. C. Hamond, DVM, MSc1,
  4. B. Penna, DVM, MSc1,
  5. M. A. Medeiros, BD, PhD2 and
  6. W. Lilenbaum, DVM, PhD1
  1. Laboratory of Veterinary Bacteriology, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Biomedic Institute, Universidade Federal Fluminense, 110 Hernani Melo Street, Niterói, RJ, Brazil
  2. Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazilian Ministry of Health,Biomanguinhos, 4365, Brasil Avenue, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to W. Lilenbaum, e-mail: mipwalt{at}

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LEPTOSPIROSIS is an important zoonotic bacterial infection of livestock that causes abortions, stillbirths, infertility and reduction of milk production, determining economic hazards. Cattle act as the maintenance host of serovar Hardjo (serogroup serjoe), which is the most common strain of Leptospira in many rural regions (Hernández-Rodríguez and others 2011).

The standard serological diagnosis of leptospirosis is the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), which is recommended for use on a herd-screening basis (Lilenbaum and others 2009).

Since leptospiral cultivation is laborious and time-consuming, other methods have been applied for the direct identification of leptospires (Marianelli and others 2007). PCR is increasingly being reported as a rapid and definitive diagnostic tool in many species, such as buffaloes (Marianelli and others 2007), small ruminants (Lilenbaum and others 2009) and cattle (Hernández-Rodríguez and others 2011). The aim of the present study was to compare the use of MAT and PCR for the diagnosis of leptospirosis in cattle.

Three dairy herds (A, B and C) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with high levels of reproductive failure, …

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