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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7242-7260; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707242

Increasing Incidence of Canine Leptospirosis in Switzerland

Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Bern, Länggassstrasse 128, CH-3001 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
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A marked increase in canine leptospirosis was observed in Switzerland over 10 years with a peak incidence of 28.1 diagnosed cases/100,000 dogs/year in the most affected canton. With 95% affected dogs living at altitudes <800 m, the disease presented a seasonal pattern associated with temperature (r2 0.73) and rainfall (r2 0.39), >90% cases being diagnosed between May and October. The increasing yearly incidence however was only weakly correlated with climatic data including number of summer (r2 0.25) or rainy days (r2 0.38). Serovars Australis and Bratislava showed the highest seropositivity rates with 70.5% and 69.1%, respectively. Main clinical manifestations included renal (99.6%), pulmonary (76.7%), hepatic (26.0%), and hemorrhagic syndromes (18.2%), leading to a high mortality rate (43.3%). Similar to the human disease, liver involvement had the strongest association with negative outcome (OR 16.3). Based on these data, canine leptospirosis presents similar features and severity as the human infection for which it therefore can be considered a model. Its re-emergence in a temperate country with very high incidence rates in canines should thus be viewed as a warning and emphasize the need for increased awareness in other species.
Keywords: leptospirosis; dog; zoonosis; climatic data; one health; renal failure; pulmonary hemorrhage leptospirosis; dog; zoonosis; climatic data; one health; renal failure; pulmonary hemorrhage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Major, A.; Schweighauser, A.; Francey, T. Increasing Incidence of Canine Leptospirosis in Switzerland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7242-7260.

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