Leptospiral Microscopic Agglutinating Antibodies in Sera of Man and Domestic Animals in Egypt

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  • United States Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt, U.A.R.
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In a serologic survey undertaken between 1968 and 1971 among domestic animals and man in Egypt, prevalences of leptospiral microscopic agglutination titers of 1:128 and greater were 42.1% in 195 goats, 26.1% in 218 buffalo, 43.8% in 130 pigs, 34.5% in 206 cows, 4.2% in 330 sheep, 34.0% in 50 camels, 29.0% in 31 donkeys and 5.6% in 513 humans. While seropositivity rates did differ among geographic areas for buffalo and cows, these rates were not consistently high or low for any one area; hence, differences among geographic areas in potential leptospiral infection hazards could not be demonstrated. Agglutination reactions were elicited with 15 of the 16 Leptospira serotypes used. Differences in distribution of positive Leptospira serotypes were related more to the species tested than to the geographic origin of the samples. Based upon these results, it is concluded that subclinical leptospirosis is not a rare disease in Egypt and may well constitute a significant public health hazard.

Author Notes

Present address: Harvard School of Public Health, 55 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

Veterinary Medicine Department, NAMRU 3, Cairo, Egypt, U.A.R.