Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Canine leptospira antibody titer

Contributor(s): Paul Burr, Yvonne McGrotty

Overview

  • Infection with any pathogenic strain of leptospira Leptospira spp will induce an antibody response in the dog.
  • Important aid in the diagnosis of leptospirosis Leptospirosis but as for serological tests in all infectious diseases, results must be interpreted in the light of clinical signs and depending on the test method and vaccination history.
  • Detection of a rising titer (samples collected 3 weeks apart) may help confirm a putative diagnosis but absence of a rising titer does not rule it out.
  • Negative titers make leptospirosis unlikely except in acute cases where antibodies may not have appeared yet (10 days from infection).
  • Zoonosis.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

MAT

  • A series of cultures of different leptospires are incubated with serial dilutions of serum. Results are expressed as the reciprocal of the highest dilution where agglutination is observed. Titers of greater than 100 are usually considered significant, although these may be due to vaccination. There is some evidence of a lack of reproducibility of this technique between laboratories and that the ability of the technique to identify the infecting serovar accurately is limited.

Immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) 

  • Serial dilutions of serum are incubated on multiwell slides with fixed pathogenic leptospires. Antibody binding is detected with a secondary anti-canine antibody. Results are expressed as the reciprocal of the highest dilution where specific fluorescence is observed. Vaccinal titers are not thought to be identified with this method. IFA provides no serovar specific information, only evidence of exposure to pathogenic leptospires Immunofluorescent antibody tests.

Immunocomb

  • Presence of antibodies to Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae serovars are detected by binding to a comb with immobilized leptospires. Results are read (color development) against a comb scale. technique is suitable for a practice laboratory.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Burr P D, Lunn K, Yam P S (2009) Current perspectives on canine leptospirosis. In Practice 31, 98-102.

Other sources of information

  • Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat (1998) Greene C E (ed), W B Saunders.
  • Laboratory Procedures for Veterinary Technicians (1997) 3rd edn, Pratt P W (ed), Mosby.


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