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Geisen, Vera (2009): Leptospirose bei Hunden in Süddeutschland. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
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Abstract

Canine Leptospirosis in Southern Germany In this study, data of 337 dogs with clinically suspected leptospirosis was evaluated. The dogs were presented to the Clinic for Small Animal Medicine (Medizinische Kleintierklinik) of the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Germany, between 1990 and 2004. In all dogs, a microagglutination test used to detect leptospiral antibodies against eight different Leptospira serovars was performed. The aim of the first study was to determine the presence of antibodies against various Leptospira serovars in dogs with clinical leptospirosis in Southern Germany and to compare serovars in regard to history, clinical signs, laboratory findings and survival rate. The purpose of the second study was to identify the Leptospira serovars predominantly inducing antibodies in dogs in Southern Germany and to determine which serovars mainly cause disease. Furthermore, possible predisposition in respect to breed, sex, and age was investigated. 48 % (162) of 337 dogs had antibodies against at least one Leptospira serovar. With the exception of antibodies against the vaccinal serovars copenhageni (70 %) and canicola (38 %), antibodies against grippotyphosa (33 %), bratislava (19 %) saxkoebing (10 %) and sejroe (8 %) were detected most frequently. Of the dogs with antibodies, 26 % (42) had the disease leptospirosis. These dogs most frequently tested positive for antibodies against grippotyphosa (31 %), followed by antibodies against saxkoebing (24 %), copenhageni (17 %), canicola (12 %) and bratislava (7 %). Thus, while antibody titers against vaccinal serovars were found in many dogs, the disease leptospirosis was mainly caused by the serovars grippotyphosa and saxkoebing. Previous studies have suggested that certain serovars are commonly associated with particular clinical symptoms and laboratory findings. However, this was not confirmed in the current study. The ratio of dogs having antibodies against leptospirosis without clinical leptospirosis to dogs with the disease leptospirosis was considerably lower in the serovar saxkoebing (1.6:1) than in other serovars (bratislava 10:1, grippotyphosa 4:1). This may be indicative of a higher pathogenicity of saxkoebing compared to other serovars. Presence of antibodies was diagnosed significantly more often in Bernese Mountain dogs than in other breeds. Also, the disease leptospirosis was significantly more often in this breed. Increasingly, nonvaccinal serovars are the cause of the disease leptospirosis. Leptospirosis vaccines currently available in Europe only contain copenhageni and canicola strains. Since these vaccines are not cross-protective against other serovars, they offer no protection against grippotyphosa and saxkoebing, the serovars most commonly associated with clinically manifest leptospirosis in Germany. A recently developed vaccine, licensed in the USA, contains grippotyphosa and pomona strains, either as a bivalent or as a quadrivalent product in combination with copenhageni and canicola. This study suggests that serovars grippotyphosa and saxkoebing should be added to leptospirosis vaccines available in Germany.