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Open AccessArticle

Detection of Leptospiral DNA in the Urine of Donkeys on the Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 334, Basseterre 00265, St. Kitts
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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 334, Basseterre 00265, St. Kitts
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College of Veterinary Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, 6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate, TN 37752, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Katharina D. C. Stärk
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4010002
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 10 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)
Leptospirosis is a global zoonosis caused by pathogenic spirochetes classified within the genus Leptospira. Leptospires live in the proximal renal tubules of reservoir or chronic carrier animals, and are shed in the urine. Naïve animals acquire infection either when they come in direct contact with a reservoir or infected animals or by exposure to environmental surface water or soil that is contaminated with their urine. In this study, urine samples from a herd of donkeys on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts were screened using a TaqMan-based real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) targeting a pathogen-specific leptospiral gene, lipl32. Out of 124 clinically normal donkeys, 22 (18%) tested positive for leptospiral DNA in their urine. Water samples from two water troughs used by the donkeys were also tested, but were found to be free from leptospiral contamination. Detection of leptospiral DNA in the urine of clinically healthy donkeys may point to a role that these animals play in the maintenance of the bacteria on St. Kitts. View Full-Text
Keywords: leptospirosis; donkey; zoonosis; waterborne disease leptospirosis; donkey; zoonosis; waterborne disease
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Grevemeyer, B.; Vandenplas, M.; Beigel, B.; Cho, E.; Willingham, A.L.; Verma, A. Detection of Leptospiral DNA in the Urine of Donkeys on the Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 2.

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