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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2003 Winter;3(4):187-93.

A serosurvey of leptospirosis in Connecticut peridomestic wildlife.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut 06518-1908, USA.


Recently, leptospirosis has gained attention as a re-emerging infection in domestic dogs in the northeastern United States. In order to gain insight into the epizootiology of leptospirosis in this region, 109 small wild mammals (31 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 30 skunks (Mephitis mephitis), 28 opossums (Didelphis virginiana), and 20 gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)) collected between February 27 and September 17, 2001 were tested for serologic evidence of exposure to five common Leptospira serovars (serovars pomona, icterohemorrhagiae, canicola, hardjo, grippotyphosa). Evidence of exposure to leptospirosis was detected in 36% of raccoons tested; icterohemorrhagiae was the predominant reactive serovar in these animals. Sera from 13% of skunks showed evidence of exposure to serovar grippotyphosa. One squirrel exhibited high antibody titers to serovars grippotyphosa and canicola. All 28 opossums examined tested negative to the five Leptospira serovars. Results from this serosurvey suggest that common peridomestic wildlife species should be considered as potential sources of leptospirosis to dogs and humans in Connecticut. Additional investigation is warranted to clarify their role in the epidemiology of this zoonotic disease in the northeastern United States.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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