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Experimental infection of the possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) with Leptospira interrogans serovar balcanica. I. Characteristics of infection

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Abstract:



The serological, bacteriological and histopathological characteristics of experimental infection with serovar balcanica in possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are described, and the possum is shown to he a potential maintenance host for this organism. Serum agglutination titres were maintained at almost constant levels for longer than a year, and leptospiruria was present in 50% of animals for a similar period. A paradoxical reaction to hardjo antigen was found in sera from all possums infected with balcanica. Comparative studies were conducted using recently isolated field strains of serovars hardjo and ballum. Young possums seronegative to Hebdomadis group titres were insusceptible to challenge with hardjo, and the pathogenesis of ballum infection was characteristic of leptospiral infection in an accidental host. The occurrence of antibodies in the urine of possums infected with balcanica is also described.

Keywords: Bacterial; Leptospirosis; Possum; Serology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1981

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