Longitudinal Testing of Leptospira Antibodies in Horses Located near a Leptospirosis Outbreak in Alpacas.

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The objectives of this study were to determine if horses located near an outbreak of leptospirosis in alpacas had Leptospira titres indicative of a previous or current infection and, if so, to determine the magnitude in change of titres over time. Further, the objective was to determine if horses with high titre results were shedding Leptospira in their urine. Blood samples were collected from twelve horses located on or next to the farm with the outbreak in alpacas, on day zero and at four subsequent time points (two, four, six and nine weeks). The microscopic agglutination test was used to test sera for five serovars endemic in New Zealand: Ballum, Copenhageni, Hardjo, Pomona and Tarassovi. A reciprocal MAT titre cut-off of ≥1:100 was used to determine positive horses. Seven out of twelve horses (58%) were positive to at least one serovar during one of the time points. Two horses recorded titres of ≥1600, one for both Pomona and Copenhageni and the other for Hardjo, and these two horses were both PCR positive for Leptospira in their urine samples. For five out of seven horses, the titres either remained the same or changed by one dilution across the sampling time points. The study confirmed endemic exposure to five endemic Leptospira serovars in New Zealand in a group of horses located near a confirmed leptospirosis outbreak in alpacas.
Leptospira serovars, New Zealand, horse, leptospirosis
Vet Sci, 2022, 9 (8)