A small scale survey of Leptospira in mammals from eastern Poland
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Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Department of Comparative Anatomy and Anthropology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(4):705–707
Samples of 30 dead small mammals each were collected on area ‘A’ located in eastern Poland and exposed to floods by the Vistula river, and on area ‘B’, also located in eastern Poland, but not exposed to floods. Kidneys and livers of the mammals were examined by the PCR and nested PCR methods for the presence of Leptospira DNA. From 7 species of small mammals examined, the presence of Leptospira DNA was detected in 2 of them. The prevalence of positive results was greatest in Apodemus agrarius which was the mostly numerous mammal species (14 out of total 39 specimens, 35.9%). The presence of Leptospira DNA was also found in Microtus arvalis (1 out of 1 specimen, 100%), whereas the remaining 5 species (Apodemus flavicollis , Apodemus sylvaticus, Microtus agrestis, Myodes glareolus, Sorex araneus) were negative. No significant difference in the prevalence of positive findings was found between the small mammals from areas ‘A’ exposed to flooding, compared to those from area ‘B’ not exposed to flooding (20.0% vs. 30.0%, p=0.3748). The overall positivity of the examined small mammals population from areas ‘A’ and ‘B’ was 25.0%. The prevalence of dual positivity (leptospiral DNA found both in kidney and liver) was greater in the mammals from areas exposed to flooding compared to those from areas not exposed to flooding (16.7% vs. 6.7%), but this dependence was also not significant (p=0.2382).