Epidemiological investigation of Leptospira spp. after three human leptospirosis cases

IDReC researchers have published the results of a study into leptospirosis epidemiology following the diagnosis of three cases among dairy farm workers early in 2015. The lead author, Yuni Yupiana of IDReC has recently defended her PhD thesis, which included this work.

This case study was published in Zoonoses and Public Health and demonstrated the high risk of Leptospira infection in farm workers exposed to unvaccinated dairy cattle and the importance of Leptospira vaccination to protect workers. Currently, ~ 95% of New Zealand dairy herds use vaccination, however this only protects against two or three of the six known serovars in New Zealand. In an outbreak situation, the combination of whole herd vaccination and antibiotic treatment in adult cows appeared to be effective in decreasing Leptospira shedding rate of vaccine serovars. However, the study identified the continued presence of non‐vaccine susceptible Leptospira serovars in vaccinated animals which pose an ongoing risk to workers.


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