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Isolation and identification of pathogenic leptospires in dogs with clinical suspect of leptospirosis

Grant number: 14/07704-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Clinics and Surgery
Principal researcher:Mitika Kuribayashi Hagiwara
Grantee:Barbara Furlan Tozzi
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonosis of global distribution that contaminates several animal species and human beings and occurs with the infection by pathogenic spirochetes of the Leptospira gender. The infection of dogs by pathogenic leptospira may present varied clinical signs according to the infecting serovar, but the more recurring signs are renal or hepathic failure, uveitis, pulmonary hemorrhage, fever, abortion, anorexia, myalgia, dehydration, polyuria, polydipsia, hypovolemic shock, peripheral edema, vomit, diarrhea, bleeding, icterus and abdominal or lumbar pain. The definitive diagnosis of the disease depends, besides the observation of these signs, of the results of microscopic agglutination test (MAT), isolation and bacterial cultivation and of the identification of microorganisms with darkfield microscopy or molecular techniques (such as PCR) to detect the presence of genetic material on tissues or body fluids. Dogs with clinical suspect of leptospirosis are frequently assisted at the Veterinary Hospital of the University of São Paulo, and the routine of the clinic performs basically the MAT exam and checks the results of laboratory tests, such as renal and hepatic function, hemogram and urinalysis to obtain the diagnosis and start appropriate therapy. The present study's objective is to, together with the clinical findings in suspect dogs, execute the PCR of urine and blood, along with isolation and identification of pathogenic leptospira, contributing to the final diagnostic of the disease.

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