Leptospira interrogans: is there a real threat for farm animals? serogroup Pomona infections in the UK: is there a real threat for farm animals?

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Abstract

Current typing of Leptospira strains requires a combination of both serological and molecular methods. Study of the epidemiology of strains within the Pomona serogroup has proved problematic due to the limitations of serological typing methods. This is particularly true of the two main complexes within this group, namely the Pomona, Monjakov, Kennewicki cluster in Leptospira interrogans species and the Mozdok, Tsaratsovo, Kunming, Altodouro cluster in Leptospira kirschneri. Strains from the south of England have been shown previously to belong to L kirschneri serovar Mozdok, strains of which are maintained by small rodents in western Europe. While they may occasionally cause disease in domestic animals, they are unlikely to be of economic importance. In contrast, L interrogans serovar Pomona type Kennewicki strains have been shown to be significant animal pathogens, especially in north America, while L interrogans serovar Pomona types Pomona and Monjakov have not been associated with significant economic loss. The purpose of this study was to examine 10 UK serovar Pomona isolates to assess type as a means of assessing the possible risk they pose to British livestock. All isolates were identified as L interrogans serovar Pomona type Pomona and were therefore unlikely to pose a significant threat to domestic animals in the UK.

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