Survey of pathogenic Leptospira in rats by polymerase chain reaction in Sisaket Province

Jittimanee, J.; Wongbutdee, J.

Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 97(Suppl 4): S20-S24

2014


ISSN/ISBN: 0125-2208
PMID: 24851560
Document Number: 15121
Leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease caused by Leptospira, has been a health problem in Thailand for several years. It can be transmitted to humans via rats' urine, which may contaminate the environment. The prevalence rate of Leptospira infection in rats may result in the spread of leptospirosis in humans. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence rate of Leptospira infection in a total of 87 rats from areas where patients with leptospirosis had been reported compared to areas with no reports of leptospirosis in Sisaket Province. DNA samples were isolated from rats' kidneys. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was used for the detection of 16s rRNA and LipL32 genes specific to genus and pathogenic Leptospira, respectively. In areas where patients with leptospirosis had been reported, 8.7% (4/46) of rats were infected with pathogenic Leptospira; no infected rats were found in non-endemic areas. This indicated the prevalence rate of Leptospira infection in rats between endemic and non-endemic areas of human leptospirosis. The prevalence rate of Leptospira infection in rats may result in the spread of leptospirosis to humans. These results may be of benefit in the prevention and/or control of the spread of leptospirosis in humans due to Leptospira-infected rats.

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