Prevalence of leptospirosis in cats with renal failure: Serologic study and Urinary molecular evaluation

Document Type : Small Animal Health Management


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Divisions of Epidemiology and Zoonoses, Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Clinical Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad. Iran


Backgound: Leptospirosis is a common disease between humans and animals with a global spread. Serological prevalence of leptospirosis in cats has been reported between 4.8 and 35% depending on geographical location and different diagnostic methods.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the seropositivity and urinary PCR status of Leptospira spp. in both healthy cats and those with renal failure.
Method: Whole blood samples and urine were obtained from 64 stray cats. Anti-Leptospira antibodies were detected in the sera using MAT. DNA was extracted from the urine of each subject and direct detection of Leptospira spp was performed in the urine by PCR. Based on the complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile, and urinalysis the cats were classified to the health group (without renal failure) and kidney disease group (with acute or chronic renal failure).
Results: Out of 64 cats, 12 cats were positive for serum titer and 10 cats were positive for urine contamination in molecular evaluation. Therefore, the prevalence of leptospirosis infection in the population was reported as 18.75% and 15.62% based on microscopic agglutination tests and molecular tests, respectively. The most common serovars detected serologically were Canicola (n = 6) and Ballum (n = 4). Seropositivity for Leptospira spp. was statistically different between groups: 12.5% (7/56) and 62.5% (5/8) in the health group and renal failure group, respectively (P = .05). Statistical analysis of the data showed that infection with Leptospira spp., in cats is a risk factor for the development of renal failure. (OR: 11.66, CI95%: 2.72-56.89, p<0.05).
Conclusion: According to the results of the present study, the prevalence of Leptospira in cats is considerable, and it should be considered both from a public health perspective and as a potential factor for the development of renal failure.


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