Leptospira PCR test for dogs and cats
dog and cat assay data sheet
B0051 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of
Leptospira by real time
polymerase chain reaction
is included on P0034 - canine
breeding panel and on P0039 canine
Leptospirosis is a
disease of worldwide significance that infects both animals and
humans. The scientific name of the infecting organism is
Leptospira interrogans sensu lato.
Within this species there are many different strains (serovars), eight
of which are of importance for dogs and cats. These eight strains
produce different levels and types of disease depending on the animals
Although cats are susceptible to infection, they rarely show signs of
disease and can become carriers. The disease is a more significant
problem in dogs, people, and livestock. Vaccines are available, but
they are only effective for one or two of the more common strains.
Current canine vaccines protect against the serovars
two serovars have been decreasing as a percentage of the total number
of infections, but unfortunately other serovars that infect dogs such
bratislava have increased.
can be spread between animals through contact with infected urine,
venereal or placental transfer, bite wounds, or the ingestion of
infected tissue. Crowded living conditions, as found in kennels, can
spread the infection. Indirect transmission occurs through exposure of
susceptible animals to contaminated water sources, food, or even
bedding. Stagnant or slow moving water provides a suitable habitat for
explains why disease outbreaks often increase during periods of
high fever of 103-104°, shivering and muscle tenderness are among the
first signs of acute infection. Vomiting and rapid dehydration may
develop subsequently. Severely infected dogs may develop hypothermia
and become depressed and die before kidney or liver failure has a
chance to develop.
subacute infections, the animal usually develops a fever, anorexia,
vomiting, dehydration, and increased thirst. The dog may be reluctant
to move due to muscle or kidney pain. Animals with liver involvement
may develop icterus. Infected dogs with kidney or liver involvement
may begin to show improvement in organ function after 2 to 3 weeks or
they may develop chronic renal failure.
Despite the possibility of severe infection and death, the majority of
leptospiral infections in dogs are chronic or subclinical. Dogs that
become chronically infected may show no outward signs, but may
intermittently shed bacteria in the urine for months or years. Routine
monitoring of pet dogs is thus strongly suggested. The disease
can be transmitted during breeding. A bitch may become infected
by semen from an infected dog, even through artificial insemination,
so testing of stud dogs and/or their semen is especially important.
infection can be diagnosed by change in antibody titers, titers may be
negative during the first 10 days of critical infection. Molecular
detection of PCR is rapid, highly sensitive and specific.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Leptospira
Help ensure that animal groups are free of
Early prevention of spread of
Minimize human exposure to
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
from susceptible animals
Urogenital swab, or 0.2 ml urine, or 0.1 ml fresh or frozen semen, or
0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a
cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified.
Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit.
See shipping instructions for more
2 business days
Qualitative real time