New Challenges From An Old Bug

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Leptospirosis: new challenges from an old bug Kate Murphy BVSc (Hons) DSAM DipECVIM-CA MRCVS PGCert(HE) Highcroft Veterinary Referrals, 615 Wells Road, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS149BE Synopsis (200 words) Article (3000 words maximum) What is Leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection with worldwide distribution. It can affect most mammals (Bharti and others 2003) but some species seem more susceptible, such as the dog and the human. It is a spirochaete infection and the infecting organism was traditionally identified by serological testing, however, modern methods using DNA hybridisation have been developed although many of these only allow identification to the species level (Jung and others 2015). The two most common serovars (L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae) have been the basis of leptospirosis vaccination in dogs for many years. There is now serological evidence of exposure to a much wider range of serovars including L. Grippotyphosa, L. Australis and L. Sejroe (Ellis 2010). Why do we need to worry about Leptospirosis? Leptospirosis is reported to be re-emerging disease worldwide (Goldstein 2010; Sykes et al. 2011; Harkin 2009; Hartskeerl et al. 2011) and human cases are reported to be increasing (Harkin 2009; Hartskeerl et al. 2011). In the UK, there were 10 cases of human infection reported in the second quarter of 2015. Four cases were reported after travelling (Public Health England, 2015). Infection in humans is typically acquired
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