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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


HESTERBERG, U W et al. A serological survey of leptospirosis in cattle of rural communities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2009, vol.80, n.1, pp.45-49. ISSN 2224-9435.

A serological survey of leptospirosis in cattle originating from rural communities of the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa was carried out between March 2001 and December 2003. The survey was designed as a 2-stage survey, using the local diptank as the primary sampling point. In total, 2021 animals from 379 diptanks in 33 magisterial districts were sampled and tested with the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The apparent prevalence at district level was adjusted for clustering and diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity and displayed in maps. The prevalence of leptospirosis in cattle originating from communal grazing areas of KZN was found to be 19.4 % with a 95 % confidence interval of 14.8-24.1 %. At district level the prevalence of leptospirosis varied from 0 to 63 % of cattle. Bovine leptospirosis was found to occur in communal grazing areas throughout the province with the exception of 2 districts. The southeastern regions showed a higher prevalence than other areas of the province; while in some of the northern and western districts alower prevalence was noted. Several serovars were detected by the MAT and although Leptospira interrogans serovar pomona occurred most frequently, serovars tarrasovi, bratislava, hardjo, canicola and icterohaemorrhagica were also frequently identified. The findings of the survey are discussed.

Keywords : Africa; rural communities KwaZulu-Natal; leptospirosis; prevalence; zoonosis.

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