1921
Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Rodents are the main reservoir animals of leptospirosis. In this study, we characterized and quantified the urinary excretion dynamics of by infected with 2 × 10 virulent serogroup Ballum. Each micturition was collected separately in metabolic cages, at 12 time points from 7 to 117 days post-infection (dpi). We detected in all urine samples collected (up to 8 per time point per mouse) proving that excretion is continuous with ca. 90% live Ballum, revealed by viability quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Microscopic visualization by Live/Dead fluorescence confirmed this high proportion of live bacteria and demonstrated that Ballum are excreted, at least partly, as bacterial aggregates. We observed two distinct phases in the excretion dynamics, first an increase in concentration shed in the urine between 7 and 63 dpi followed by a plateau phase from 63 dpi onward, with up to 3 × 10 per mL of urine. These two phases seem to correspond to progressive colonization of renal tubules first, then to stable cell survival and maintenance in kidneys. Therefore, chronically infected adult mice are able to contaminate the environment via urine at each micturition event throughout their lifetime. Because excretion reached its maximum 2 months after infection, older rodents have a greater risk of contaminating their surrounding environment.

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  • Received : 14 Feb 2017
  • Accepted : 14 May 2017

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