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Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Arborea is an emerging cause of leptospirosis in Australia. It was not previously recognized as an endemic serovar before the 1990s, but at that point, human infections with the serovar increased significantly. Using fluorescent-amplified fragment-length polymorphism (FAFLP) molecular typing, human and rodent isolates were compared genetically. Typing revealed 11 unique profiles among the 23 isolates examined; however, there was no clonality revealed between the human and rodent isolates. There was clonality among rodent isolates from geographically related areas. This study highlights the utility of Leptospira culture combined with FAFLP for the examination of the epidemiology of this disease.
Authors' addresses: Andrew T. Slack, Meegan L. Symonds, Michael F. Dohnt, Scott B. Craig, and Lee D. Smythe, WHO/FAO/OIE Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Leptospirosis, Western Pacific Region, Communicable Disease Unit, Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services, Coopers Plains, Queensland, Australia, E-mail: Lee_smythe@health.qld.gov.au.