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Online Journal of Veterinary Research©


Volume 25(2): 88-95, 2021.

Leptospira spp in horses and implications for public health in Northeast Brazil.


Camila Hamond1, Heder Nunes Ferreira2, Gabriel Martins1, Marco Alberto Medeiros3,

Marco Aurélio de Oliveira Goes4, Mercia Simone Feitosa5, Walter Lilenbaum1


1Laboratory of Veterinary Bacteriology, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, 2Pio Decimo Faculty, Aracaju, SE, 3Laboratory of Recombinant Technology, Bio-Manguinhos, Brazilian Ministry of Health, FIOCRUZ, Av. Brazil, 4365, Rio de Janeiro, 21045-900, 4Medicine Department, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Lagarto, SE and 5Sergipe State Secretary of Health, Aracaju-SE, Brazil.




Hamond C, Ferreira HN, Martins G, Medeiros MA, Oliveira Goes MA, Feitosa MS, Lilenbaum W., Occurrence of leptospira spp in horses and implications for public health in Northeast Brazil, Onl J Vet Res., 25(2): 88-95, 2021. We report occurrence of Leptospira species in 94 horses aged 2-14 years from the tropical State of Sergipe in Northeast Brazil and compare it with human data cases from the same region. Blood samples for serology (MAT) and urine for qPCR were collected from horses and cases of human leptospirosis from epidemiological surveys. In MAT test, 44/94 (46.8%) horse sera were reactive with 40.9% Icterohaemorrhagiae,  36.4% Australis and 22.7% Sejroe. However, by lipL32 qPCR only 5 horses (5.3%) were positive . We found higher occurrence  (P <0.0007) in urban locations compared with rural ones. Although Icterohaemorrhagiae was the most common serogroup among horses and is also the main agent of human leptospirosis, no association between equine and human cases was found. Horses may act as carriers and probably play an important role on urban leptospirosis, and consequently must be considered for treatment (One Health).


Key words: Leptospirosis, Horses, Urban Area, Public Health, One health.