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Cross-Species Surveillance of Leptospira in Domestic and Peri-Domestic Animals in Mahalla City, Gharbeya Governorate, Egypt

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  • Laboratory Unit, United States Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafr El Sheik University, Egypt; Microbiology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt; Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

A survey of 179 animals (black rats, dogs, sheep, buffaloes, cattle, donkeys, weasels, and cats) for Leptospira infection was conducted in Mahalla City (Lower Egypt). Blood, urine, and kidney were collected and tested by culture, microscopic agglutination test (MAT), and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among rats, 26% were positive by PCR, including 7% that were also positive by culture for L. interrogans serovars Grippotyphosa, Pyrogenes, and Icterohaemorrhagiae. L. borpetersenii serovar Polonica was isolated for the first time in Egypt in three rats. MAT titers ≥ 1:800 were observed in 11% of rats and 12% of dogs. L. interrogans serovar Grippotyphosa was detected in one cat. Sheep and donkeys were negative for leptospirosis by all methods. Buffaloes and cattle were seropositive in 20% and 44% of animals, respectively. Data indicate that several pathogenic serovars are circulating in the animals, which may pose exposure risks and account for high rates of acute febrile illness.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Momtaz O. Wasfy, US Naval Medical Research Unit-3, 3A, Imtidad Ramses Street, Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt, 11517. E-mail: momtaz.wasfy.eg@med.navy.mil

Authors' addresses: Stephen A. Felt, Comparative Medicine Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, E-mail: felt@stanford.edu. Momtaz O. Wasfy, Lab Unit, US Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: momtaz.wasfy.eg@med.navy.mil. Bassem Abdel Rahaman, Lab Unit, US Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: bassem.abdel-rahman.eg@med.navy.mil. Marie Boshra, Lab Unit, US Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: marie.boshra@gmail.com. Tina M. Parker, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases Respiratory Diseases Branch DMID/NIAID/NIH/DHHS 6610 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD, E-mail: parkerti@niaid.nih.gov. Guillermo Pimentel, Lab Unit, US Naval Medical Research Unit-3, Cairo, Egypt. Wael El-Tras, Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafr El Sheik University, Egypt, E-mail: wael_tras@yahoo.com. Ahmed Ahmed El-Bassiouny, Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafr El Sheik University, Egypt, E-mail: bassiounya@yahoo.com. Ahmed Samir, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine College, Cairo University, Egypt, E-mail: ahmedsamir121@hotmail.com. Mahmoud Essam Hatem, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt, E-mail: essamhatem@yahoo.com. Clinton K. Murray, Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, E-mail: clinton.murray@us.army.mil.

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