Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
AZIZI, Shahrzad et al. Evaluation of 'white-spotted kidneys' associated with leptospirosis by polymerase chain reaction based LipL32 gene in slaughtered cows. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2012, vol.83, n.1, pp. 29-34. ISSN 2224-9435.
The presence of white spots in the kidneys of cattle at slaughter (so-called white-spotted kidneys) can be an indication of infection with Leptospira, a spirochaete of public health concern because it causes zoonotic disease. In this study, 24 kidneys of 180 slaughtered cows (13.3%) showed focal to multifocal white spots at inspection. These kidneys, together with matching urine (n = 18) and blood (n = 24) samples, were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the LipL32 gene. Leptospiral deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was detected in 19 (79.2%) out of 24 kidneys, as well as 7 (29.2%) blood and 10 (55.5%) urine samples of cows with white spots in their kidneys. Histopathological findings revealed multifocal infiltration of mononuclear cells, including lymphocytes and a few plasma cells in the renal interstitial tissues. In addition, 14 apparently normal kidneys and associated urine and blood samples were similarly examined by PCR but did not provide any positive results. In this study, high detection of leptospirosis in kidneys with interstitial nephritis suggests that Leptospira spp. are associated with white spotted kidneys. The present findings indicate that white spotted kidneys can be due to leptospirosis in this region in southwestern Iran, which indicates an increased risk of zoonotic disease. The data show that LipL32-based primers are useful for PCR-based diagnosis of leptospirosis.