Leptospira Spp (Larrey 1800) Serological Evaluation in Pantera onca (Linnaeus 1758) and Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus 1771) Kept in Captivity at Belém and Capitão Poço, Pará State, Brazil
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009
V.T. Almeida; L.H.C. Pereira; N.F. Souza; A.M.C. Meneses; C.C.G. Moraes; R.B.S. Kuroda; D.J.S. Lima; M.J.F.M. Figueiredo; A.C.A. Pereira; H. Langoni; R.C. Silva; M.A.M.K. Alves; R.N. Dias Neto; R.F. Andrade; R.K.G. Bastos; A.C.F. Cardoso; L.S. Seixas; E.N.L. Andrade; G.S. Oliveira; K.A. Reis; A.C.C. Lacreta Junior; E.R. Branco; F.C.M. Oliveira; B.M.A. Leandro
Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia, Instituto da Saúde e Produção Animal, Belém/Pará/Brazil


Leptospirosis is caused by Leptospira sp, a spirochete aerobic bacteria, gram-negative, with spiral morphology (Vignard-Rosez & Ian 2008). It is an important global disease with public and animal health implications (Souza Júnior 2006). Affects human beings and several animal species such as rodents, wild and domestic animals. Was first described in Brazil in 1917. Currently the disease is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries (Bernardi & Soto 2008). The bacteria has been detected in almost all countries that carry out epidemiological investigations, and its incidence have strong association with periods of high rainfall, and, under favorable conditions and the presence of suitable hosts, can persist for weeks or months in the environment (War-Neto et al. 2004). In Brazil, the disease is still poorly studied in native species of fauna of each region, thus leaving a possible gap in the study of the epidemiological chain, making difficult the development of strategic plans for controlling this disease in regions with high domestic animals and wildlife density, forests and rivers (Giri 2004). Serological studies have shown the involvement of different species in the wild and synanthropic disease (Esteves 2005). The purpose of this study was to investigate Leptospira sp occurrence and serovars involved in the infection, in wild felines kept in captivity at Pará State, Brazil.

Materials and Methods

This research was performed studying 11 Panthera onca (5 males and 6 females) and six Leopardus pardalis (four males and two females). Animals were kept in a conservationist farm at Capitão Poço, Pará State, Brazil and from 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Jungle (2° BIS), Belém, Pará State, Brazil. Blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein. After centrifugation, sera samples obtained were stored in "eppendorfs", frozen and sent to the Laboratory of Zoonosis of the Paulista State University "Júlio de Mesquita Filho", Botucatu Campus, São Paulo State, Brazil. The Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used to research antibodies anti-Leptospira spp. Samples were tested for the following serovars: Australis, Bratislava, Autumnalis, Butembo, Castellón, Bataviae, Canicola, Whitcomb, Cynopteri, Djasiman, Sentot, Grippotyphosa, Hebdomadis, Copenhagen, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Javanese, Panama, Pomona, Pyrogenes, Hardjo Prajitno, Miniswajezak Hardjo, Hardjo CTG, Bovis Hardjo, Wolff, Sherman, Tarassovi, Andaman and Patoc.


All 17 samples obtained in this research and sent for analysis showed no reagent for serovars tested.

Discussion and Conclusions

From epidemiological view it is believed that spirochete survival out of animal body and the endemic degree of some regions depend on certain land sections and its pH, temperature, vegetation and nutrients availability, factors that allow Leptospira spp growth and development (Zamora & Riedemann 1999). All animals studied lived in places surrounded by screens of wire, some of them not in a good conservation, what could allow pests entrance, however, were not found remains of food that would constitute an attraction for them, thus justifying the absence of rodents at the site. The animals were fed once a day, always in the afternoon, their places were clean, but in a Panthera onca husbandry, there was a tank full of stagnant water, which also had a tap for regular exchange of its contents. Despite being located in urban areas and have the presence of lakes, forests and animals coming from other places, factors that encourage the emergence of bacteria, the site has remained free innocuous. Thus, it is believed that the negativity of the analyzed samples, due to lack of contact of these animals with the bacteria, or environmental conditions and management does not favor the permanence of rodents as well as the bacteria capable of transmission. A study using from São Paulo Zoo observed 6 of 7 animals positive (Corrêa 2000). In another study, Guerra Neto et al. (2004) demonstrated the presence of agglutinins in sera of five of the nine Leopardus pardalis studied. Data obtained in that research just strengthens hypothesis that specific conditions are necessary for its dissemination into environment. It is considered that animals from Felidae family seem to be more resistant to leptospirosis (Corrêa & Corrêa 1992). One of the factors related to this resistance is due cat's behavior (rat's hunter) over the years and thus becoming immune to the action of this spirochete (Corrêa 2007). Despite it is an uncommon disease in wild animals and require specific environmental conditions, it is a zoonosis. Usually these places (captivity) are constantly visited by people and should, therefore, maintain a strict prophylactic control, because there are no ways to immunize these animals through vaccines. Further study are needed, with a larger number of animals, and using additional techniques, so that the actual occurrence of the disease can be really determined in wild felidae kept in captivity in Pará State, Brazil.


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Speaker Information
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V.T. Almeida
Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia
Instituto da Saúde e Produção Animal
Montese, Belém/Pará, Brazil