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Bergmann, Michele; Llewellyn, Julia-Rebecca; Hartmann, Katrin (2017): Diagnose der Leptospirose beim Hund. In: Tierärztliche Praxis Ausgabe Kleintiere Heimtiere, Vol. 45, No. 3: pp. 170-177
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c Rapid confirmation of the diagnosis leptospirosis is important in order to apply appropriate treatment;in addition, infected dogs are a zoonotic risk. Culture and isolation of living leptospires from blood, urine, or tissues is considered the reference standard of diagnosis. However, sensitivity are low, and leptospires require weeks to months to grow. Therefore, diagnosis of leptospirosis is most commonly based on antibody testing or the detection of Leptospira spp. DNA by PCR. Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) is currently still the recommended confirmatory test for canine leptospirosis, despite its numerous limitations (e.g., negative results in early infection, positive results due to vaccine-associated antibodies). ELISA can differentiate between IgG and IgM antibodies and thus, discriminate current infections from previous vaccination or exposure. Point-of-care tests and in-house-PCR tests have recently been developed for use in private practice allowing easy and immediate diagnosis. However, only few data on sensitivity and specificity of these tests exist so far. A reliable diagnosis can only be established in case of a positive PCR result or a fourfold titre increase in MAT.