What is the primary reservoir of leptospiral serovars?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Most leptospiral serovars have a primary reservoir in wild mammals, which continually reinfect domestic populations. The organism affects at least 160 mammalian species and has been recovered from rats, swine, dogs, cats, raccoons, cattle, mongooses, and bandicoots. [15, 16] The most important reservoirs are rodents, and rats are the most common source worldwide. In the United States, important leptospiral sources include dogs, livestock, rodents, and wild animals.

Many serovars are associated with particular animals. For example, L pomona and L interrogans are seen in cattle and pigs; L grippotyphosa is seen in cattle, sheep, goats, and voles; L ballum and L icterohaemorrhagiae are associated with rats and mice; and L canicola is associated with dogs. Other important serotypes include L autumnalisL hebdomidis, and L australis. Leptospiral species' and serogroups' host animals vary from region to region. Individual animals may carry several serovars.

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