Canine leptospirosis is has a considerable research focus globally with numerous studies now reporting the changes in serovars of the organism infecting dogs in different regions and countries. These studies have led to the introduction of vaccines now containing three or four (rather than just two) serogroups of Leptospira, which are more relevant to providing protection of dogs in that region. For example, the composition of the four-component vaccine differs in Europe and the USA because of differences in circulating field serovars. Additionally, the spectrum of clinical presentations for canine leptospirosis is widening, with Leptospiral pulmonary haemorrhagic syndrome now increasingly identified in Europe. Data on the prevalence of canine leptospirosis, the clinical presentation and causative serogroups are very limited or non-existent in Asian countries.
Asia Veterinary Diagnostics (formerly Hong Kong Veterinary Diagnostic ) aims to provide a top-class diagnostic service to veterinarians in the region, but will also undertake relevant clinical research projects of value to the veterinary community. Because of the veterinary clinical and zoonotic importance of canine leptospirosis, and the lack of regional data on this infection, we intend to undertake a small research study to:
- Determine the prevalence of Leptospira infection in dogs with compatible clinical presentations.
- Determine the spectrum of clinical presentations in infected dogs.
- Determine the serogroups and genogroups of Leptospira circulating in the region to inform decisions about future vaccination.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are asking veterinarians to submit samples directly from practice to form the basis for this study.
We are interested in samples from dogs with any of the following three clinical presentations:
- Acute onset renal disease
- Acute onset hepatic disease
- Other possible clinical presentations including: pulmonary haemorrhage, uveitis or abortions.
Additionally, we aim to collect samples from clinically normal control dogs that might be presenting to you for a health check or pre-operative laboratory screening.
From each dog, we require the following:
- A clinical history to include:
- Age, breed and sex
- Habitation and lifestyle (e.g. primarily indoor, indoor-outdoor or outdoor; city or rural; access to dog parks)
- Leptospira vaccination history (product used and when last vaccinated)
- Current presenting clinical signs and any supportive in-house laboratory data (haematology and serum biochemistry, imaging)
- A fresh urine sample (not frozen)
- A fresh sample of EDTA blood (~2 ml) and a fresh sample of clotted blood (~2 m)
WHAT WILL WE DO?
In addition to collating the clinical information provided, we will:
- Perform Leptospira PCR testing on the blood and urine sample and determine genogroup for any positive
- Perform acute phase IgM antibody testing on the blood sample
- For any positive cases, perform gold-standard MAT testing on the blood
These tests will be performed entirely free of and the results of PCR and IgM testing will be sent to you with standard laboratory turnaround. If you have a positive case, we would greatly value receiving a second clotted blood sample 2 weeks after the date of collection of the first, so that we can assess changes in antibody titres.
We aim to accumulate data from around 200 dogs and once collated, this will be presented back to the local veterinary community by seminar and prepared for scientific publication.
This is YOUR study, so please assist us to generate valuable local information that could improve standards of veterinary care in our region!
Submission form can be downloaded from here.
If you have any questions about the study, please contact Asia Veterinary Diagnostics directly.