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Internal Medicine

Martin LE, Wiggans KT, Wennogle SA et al.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.

 J Vet Intern Med 2014;28:789–92.

Yvonne McGrotty’s review: Leptospirosis is a Gram-negative bacterial disease affecting both animals and humans. Infection occurs via contact with infected urine or contaminated water; leptospires generally enter the body via mucous membranes and are then disseminated to the kidneys, liver, spleen, eyes, and central nervous system. The infecting serovars vary by geographic location. Clinical disease can be manifested as peracute, acute, subacute, or chronic forms and some infections may be asymptomatic. Leptospirosis should be a differential diagnosis for any dog presenting with signs of acute renal failure, pyrexia of unknown origin, vasculitis, or liver disease. Leptospires can colonise renal tubular epithelial cells, resulting in renal shedding for a protracted period of time. They can also express haemolysin, which can lead to vasculitis.

This prospective US study included 32 client-owned dogs that had not been vaccinated against Leptospira spp. in the previous 12months. All of the dogs were healthy, were between 1 and 8years of age, and were randomly assigned to receive one of four licensed vaccines (LeptoVax® 4, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., St Joseph, MO, USA; Nobivac® Lepto4, Merck Animal Health, Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA; RECOMBITEK® 4 Lepto, Merial, Duluth, GA, USA; or Vanguard L4, Pfizer Animal Health, New York, NY, USA) that each contained the following four Leptospira spp. serovars: Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona. Blood was collected prior to administration of the vaccines and also at various time-points from 3 to 56 weeks post-vaccination. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used to assess antibody titres against the four vaccine serovars as well as the non-vaccinal Leptospira spp. serovars, Bratislava and Hardjo.

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