Main content area

The prevalence of pathogenic forms of Leptospira in natural populations of small wild mammals in Serbia

Blagojević, Jelena, Šekler, Milanko, Rajičić, Marija, Pejić, Branka, Budinski, Ivana, Jovanović, Vladimir M., Adnađević, Tanja, Vidanović, Dejan, Matović, Kazimir, Vujošević, Mladen
Acta veterinaria Hungarica 2019 v.67 no.3 pp. 338-346
Apodemus agrarius, Apodemus flavicollis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Leptospira, Microtus arvalis, Sorex araneus, hosts, leptospirosis, mammals, monitoring, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, tourists, wild animals, zoonoses, Serbia
The greatest epidemiological significance of leptospirosis in Europe comes from the fact that it is the most widespread zoonosis in the world. However, epizootiological data, especially information on maintenance hosts such as small wild mammals, are largely missing. To fill this gap in data in Serbia, we used RT-PCR for the detection of pathogenic Leptospira species and analysed 107 animals belonging to six species of small wild mammals (Apodemus agrarius, Apodemus flavicollis, Microtus arvalis, Myodes glareolus, Microtus subterraneus and Sorex araneus) collected from two localities. The animals from the first locality that was situated in a tourist area, were collected for four consecutive years (2014–2017). We found persistent incidence of infection from year to year ranging from 6.67% to 78.57%. The average frequency of infected animals was 33.3% with the highest frequency in 2014, the year characterised by a very high number of flooding days. All animals proved to be infected with pathogenic Leptospira species that were collected from the second locality situated in an agricultural area in a single year, 2014. The findings show a variable but constant presence of pathogenic Leptospira species in populations of small wild mammals in the studied areas, which indicates the need for constant monitoring.