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Susceptibility among breeds of sheep experimentally infected with Leptospira interrogans Pomona serogroup.

Figueiredo da Costa, Diego; Cristiny Rodrigues Silva, Maria Luana; Martins, Gabriel; Medeiros Dantas, Antônio Flávio; Almeida de Melo, Marcia; Santos de Azevedo, Sérgio; Lilenbaum, Walter; Alves, Clebert José.
Microb Pathog; 122: 79-83, 2018 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29890332
Leptospirosis is a disease that negatively affects the productive and reproductive indices of ruminants. Sheep are considered highly resistant to infection, although susceptibility may vary among breeds. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze the susceptibility between sheep breeds to the experimental infection by leptospires of the Pomona serogroup. Pomona serogroup, Kennewicki serovar strain (1 × 107 bacteria) was inoculated via the conjunctival route in 12 sheep divided into two groups, one comprising Santa Inês ewes and the other comprising crossbred sheep. In each group, five ewes were challenged with the bacterial strain and one was used as control. All sheep were monitored for 60 days, during which blood samples were collected for serological diagnosis and urine and vaginal fluid samples for molecular and microbiological analyses. Finally, as ewes were submitted to euthanasia and necropsy, some tissues of interest were collected for microbiological, molecular, and histopathological diagnoses. The groups were compared regarding the number of positive reactions according to diagnostic tests. All sheep in each group presented antibodies to Leptospira in all serological analyses, except animals of the control group. However the Santa Inês sheep presented higher concentration and duration of the titers, and their positive reactions were detected earlier than those in crossbred sheep. The antibody titers in group A (median 200, geometric mean 317.48) were significantly different from the group B (median 800, geometric mean 918.96) at D60 post-infection (P = 0,032). The Santa Inês sheep presented a higher number of positive reactions than did the crossbred sheep in the molecular diagnostic tests. According to the molecular diagnosis, the Santa Inês sheep presented more reactions (urine and vaginal fluid) compared to crossbred ewes, but there was no predominance in the detection of leptospiral DNA when comparing urine and vaginal fluid results, nor even between the number of positive kidneys and uterus. The Santa Inês sheep presented a higher number of positive bacteriological cultures. No sheep in either group presented alterations in anatomopathological and histopathological findings. Pure-bred sheep may be more susceptible than crossbred sheep to infection by Leptospira sp. Our findings emphasize the importance of the genital tract as a site of extraurinary infection and indicate the possibility of venereal transmission in the species.
Selo DaSilva