Serological and molecular findings in diagnosis of leptospirosis serovar hardjo in a dairy bovine herd

Vanessa Yumi Hashimoto, Roberta Torres Chideroli, Juliane Ribeiro, Amauri Alcindo Alfieri, Geraldo Marcio da Costa, Ulisses de Padua Pereira, Julio Cesar de Freitas


The cattle are considered hosts of the Hardjo serovar, causing economic damages due to the reproductive failures like abortions and infertility. The serovar Hardjo usually remains in the reproductive tract and also in the renal tubules where it is eliminated intermittently in the urine for months. Placental remnants, the aborted fetus and contaminated urine promote the permanence of this bacterium within the herd for years. Thus, the objective of this study was to monitor for prolonged period, cows naturally infected with Leptospira ssp. through microbiological culture, serological examination and DNA detection of the pathogen in the urine. The dairy herd was composed of 50 breeding cows with a history of abortion and infertility, without leptospirosis vaccine and located in the northern region of Paraná. Blood and urine samples were collected and laboratorial diagnosis were performed five times at intervals of four months. Blood samples were collected from the all 50 animals and the serum was submitted to the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for the detection of anti-leptospira antibodies. Of the total cows, 20 showed antibody titres ? 1: 100 in MAT and urine samples were collected from only those animals with higher titers to perform nested-PCR (n-PCR) and bacterial isolation per culture. In addition, two urine samples from five animals with antibody titers < 1: 100 were collected in MAT for n-PCR. Serovar Hardjo was considered the most frequent during the serological monitoring of the animals evaluated. The n-PCR technique was able to detect leptospiral DNA in the urine of animals with MAT ? 1: 100 antibody titers and urine from animals whose titers were < 1: 100. Sequencing of the leptospiral amplicons shared 100% nucleotide sequence identity with the Leptospira interrogans species. Positive n-PCR results from animals with titers of < 1: 100 suggest that the cut-off of MAT is could be not sufficient to detect renal carriers, so it is also important to use n-PCR as an additional diagnostic tool for identify infected animals with Hardjo serovar and whose serology was negative.


Epidemiology; Leptospira; Microscopic agglutination test; Renal carriers.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional