Author(s): Brem S, Gerhards H, Wollanke B, Meyer P, Kopp H
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Abstract 130 vitreous samples, systematically collected in 1998 from 117 horses during vitrectomy, were cultured for the presence of leptospires. All horses suffered from equine recurrent uveitis (ERU), also known as periodic ophthalmia or moon blindness, and were treated surgically to combat painful attacks, and to preserve vision. In 35 out of 130 vitreous samples (35/130 = 26.9\%), leptospires could be isolated. These isolates belong to the grippotyphosa serogroup (n = 31) and to the australis serogroup (n = 4). So, for the first time, leptospires were recovered from eyes in vivo in a large number of horses with ERU. Vitreous samples and one serum sample from each horse were also tested for leptospiral antibodies using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). In 92 vitreous samples (92/130 = 70.7\%) and 96 serum samples (96/117 = 82.0\%) leptospiral antibodies were detected at a dilution of > 1:100. The presence of intact leptospires and specific antibodies in eyes affected with ERU demonstrates a local antibody production to leptospiral antigen. These results indicate an important etiological role of leptospires in equine recurrent uveitis.
This article was published in Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination