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The efficacy of a leptospirosis vaccine in preventing leptospiruria in pigs

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A commercially manufactured leptospirosis vaccine containing serovars pomona and hardjo and licensed for use in cattle and sheep was investigated to determine if it would prevent leptospiruria in pigs exposed to serovar pomona. Twenty piglets were each vaccinated twice at an interval of three weeks. Twenty other piglets were unvaccinated and served as controls. Three weeks after the second dose of vaccine all animals were exposed for 64 to 89 days to a natural infection with pomona. During the investigation blood samples were examined serologically and urine samples were examined by dark ground microscopy and cultured for the presence of leptospirae. Attempts were made to culture leptospirae from kidneys at slaughter. Kidneys were also examined histologically for evidence of leptospira infection. One vaccinated animal developed a respiratory disease. It was treated with antibiotics and removed from the trial. Leptosphuria was demonstrated in six of the remaining 19 vaccinated pigs and leptospirae were found in nine of 578 (1.5%) urine samples examined from these animals during the period of exposure. In contrast leptospiruria occurred in 19 of 20 unvaccinated pigs and leptospirae were found in 253 of 642 (39.4%) urine samples examined from these animals. Histopathological lesions consistent with leptospirosis were found in kidneys examined from two of 16 vaccinates and 17 of 18 non-vaccinates. Antibodies to serovar pomona were detected in 12 of 19 vaccinated pigs examined three weeks after the second dose of vaccine and before exposure to infection, and in all of 18 unvaccinated pigs examined after exposure to infection. It was concluded that use of this vaccine in pigs resulted in a significant degree of protection against leptospiruria.

Keywords: Bacterial; Leptospirosis; Pig; Urinary system; Vaccination

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1985

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