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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276


JORGE, Rodrigo Silva Pinto et al. Exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs to Leptospira spp in the northern Pantanal, Brazil. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2011, vol.106, n.4, pp.441-444. ISSN 0074-0276.

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease affecting most mammals and is distributed throughout the world. Several species of domestic and wild animals may act as reservoirs for this disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of free-ranging wild carnivores, horses and domestic dogs on a private reserve located in the northern Pantanal (Brazil) and the surrounding areas to Leptospira spp from 2002-2006, 75 free-ranging wild carnivores were captured in the Pantanal and serum samples were collected. In addition, samples from 103 domestic dogs and 23 horses in the region were collected. Serum samples were tested for the presence of Leptospira antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test. Thirty-two wild carnivores (42.7%) were considered positive with titres > 100, and 18 domestic dogs (17.5%) and 20 horses (74.1%) were also found to be positive. Our study showed that horses, dogs and several species of free-ranging wild carnivores have been exposed to Leptospira spp in the Pantanal, suggesting that the peculiar characteristics of this biome, such as high temperatures and an extended period of flooding, may favour bacterial persistence and transmission. In this region, wild carnivores and horses seem to be important hosts for the epidemiology of Leptospira species.

Keywords : Leptospira spp; free-ranging wild carnivores; public health; conservation; serology; Pantanal.

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