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Feral Swine Leptospira Seroprevalence Survey in Hawaii, USA, 2007–2009
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  • Alternative Title:
    Zoonoses Public Health
  • Description:
    Leptospirosis is considered the most widespread of zoonotic diseases. It was a notifiable disease in the United States until 1995 and was reinstated to the list of nationally notifiable diseases in 2014. During the time of national surveillance, Hawaii consistently led the nation in reported annual incidence rates. Leptospirosis has remained a reportable disease in Hawaii. Significant changes have been documented since the early 1970s in the predominant serogroup infecting humans in Hawaii: infections due to Icterohaemorrhagiae have declined while infections due to Australis have increased. A recent study from Hawaii demonstrated that Australis was an uncommon infecting serogroup for small mammal hosts. Swine have not been previously studied in Hawaii but are well-recognized maintenance hosts for leptospires belonging to the Australis serogroup. This study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of Leptospira antibody in feral swine in Hawaii. From January 2007 through December 2009, blood samples were collected opportunistically from feral swine. Using the microscopic agglutination test, we found antibody titres ≥1 : 100 to leptospires in 272 (33.8%) of 804 feral swine. The most frequently reacting serovars to the swine sera were Icterohaemorrhagiae (Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup) (41.5%) and Bratislava (Australis serogroup) (33.8%). The high seroprevalence and presumptively infecting serovars suggest a link between swine and human infection.
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