Volume 87, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Our objective was to identify local animal reservoirs of leptospirosis to explain the unusual features of strains recently described among patients on the island of Mayotte. By means of a microscopic agglutination test using local clinical isolates, we found that 11.2% of black rats were seropositive to , whereas 10.2% of flying foxes, 2% of lemurs, 93.1% of domestic dogs, and 87.5% of stray dogs were seropositive. As observed in humans, Mini was the main serogroup circulating in animals, whereas serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was absent. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, we also showed that 29.8% of rats carried leptospires in their kidneys. The sequencing of 16S rRNA gene sequences of found in black rat kidneys identified four genomospecies (, , and group B), which established black rats as the major source of leptospirosis transmission to humans. The origins of such a genetic diversity in strains are discussed.


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  • Received : 14 Feb 2012
  • Accepted : 12 Apr 2012
  • Published online : 02 Jul 2012

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