Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira with more than 12 pathogenic species causing infection1. The biodiversity of Leptospires in the environment is affected by geography, climate, biotic interactions and anthropogenic activities2.
Infection usually results from direct transmission via contaminated urine or placental fluid or indirectly from a contaminated environment. The primary conditions associated with leptospirosis in horses are (moon blindness) and abortion. Chronic uveitis occurs when the leptospira bacteria enter the eye, creating an immune reaction1.
Recently, the number of Leptospirosis outbreak in horses was increasing in Chennai, India. There are reports in other parts of the world also about the prevalence of this organism in clinically healthy horses.
Horses present a limited number of diseases that can be transmitted to humans; yet, the bond established between horses and their owners allows a closer contact with them than with other large animals. This closer bond can increase the contact rate to Leptospira spp3.
Petite consideration is normally set to the possible role horses play in zoonotic diseases. Although no horses presented clinical signs of Leptospirosis, the study confirms exposure to Leptospira spp. and the importance of studying in more detail the livelihood conditions in which the horses are kept and possible risk of transmission to their owners and other horses.
Therefore, a new study was undertaken by Indian researchers to assess the seroprevalence (the level of a pathogen in a population, as measured in blood serum) in clinically healthy horses and to find out the association among age, gender and serovar types in India4.
This study discovered the possible seroprevalence of Leptospira spp. organism in horses which is clinically healthy. However there are possibilities that these organisms may flare up and end up in clinical infection during stress conditions. Hence, this study will help the stud farm owners and equine veterinarians to understand the importance of seroprevalence and help them to take appropriate preventive measures in future.
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17 November, 2019