Hooo-Hooo Volume 10, Nr 1 - Page 4

WildLife Group of the SAVA Leptospirosis in Wildlife Dr. P.H. Mapham, BVSc (Hon) Vetdiagnostix Veterinary Pathology Services, Tel no: 033 347 2259 Cell No: 082 771 3227 E-mail: rickm@iafrica.com Introduction Leptospirosis caused by pathogenic spirochetes belonging to the family Leptospiracea, genus Leptospira is an important cause of abortion, stillbirths, infertility, poor milk production and death amongst livestock. It may have a significant economic impact on the livestock industry. Its epidemiology may be complex and transmission of infection involves recirculation of the pathogens among reservoirs which includes domestic and wild animals. 4 Dr. J.H. Vorster, BVSc, MMedVet(Path) Vetdiagnostix Veterinary Pathology Services, Tel no: 033 342 5104 Cell no: 082 820 5030 E-mail: hendri@telkomsa.net It is increasingly recognized as an emerging zoonotic infection worldwide, partly brought about by factors such as climate change and demographic shifts, and believed to be grossly underestimated as public health and veterinary concern. Farmers, dairy industry workers, veterinarians, sewer workers, pet keepers, rodent catchers, fishermen, miners, military personnel, international travellers and those persons participating in aquatic leisure activities are more prone to acquire the disease.