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Occurrence of Leptospira DNA in water and soil samples collected in eastern Poland
 
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1
Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
2
Department of Hygiene of Food of Animal Origin, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
3
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(4):730–732
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ABSTRACT
Leptospira is an important re-emerging zoonotic human pathogen, disseminated by sick and carrier animals, water and soil. Weather calamities, such as flooding or cyclones favour the spreading of these bacteria. To check a potential role of natural water and soil in the persistence and spread of Leptospira on the territory of eastern Poland, 40 samples of natural water and 40 samples of soil were collected from areas exposed to flooding, and 64 samples of natural water and 68 samples of soil were collected from areas not exposed to flooding. Samples of water were taken from various reservoirs (rivers, natural lakes, artificial lakes, canals, ponds, farm wells) and samples of soils were taken at the distance of 1–3 meters from the edge of the reservoirs. The samples were examined for the presence of Leptospira DNA by nested-PCR. Two out of 40 samples of water (5.0%) collected from the area exposed to flooding showed the presence of Leptospira DNA, while all 40 samples of soil from this area were negative. All samples of water and soil (64 and 68, respectively) collected from the areas not exposed to flooding were negative. No significant difference were found between the results obtained in the areas exposed and not exposed to flooding. In conclusion, these results suggest that water and soil have only limited significance in the persistence and dissemination of Leptospira in eastern Poland.
 
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