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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2015;387:251-72. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-45059-8_10.

Vaccines against leptospirosis.

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Department of Microbiology, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, 3800, Australia,


Vaccines against leptospirosis followed within a year of the first isolation of Leptospira, with the first use of a killed whole cell bacterin vaccine in guinea pigs published in 1916. Since then, bacterin vaccines have been used in humans, cattle, swine, and dogs and remain the only vaccines licensed at the present time. The immunity elicited is restricted to serovars with related lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigen. Likewise, vaccines based on LPS antigens have clearly demonstrated protection in animal models, which is also at best serogroup specific. The advent of leptospiral genome sequences has allowed a reverse vaccinology approach for vaccine development. However, the use of inadequate challenge doses and inappropriate statistical analysis invalidates many of the claims of protection with recombinant proteins.

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