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  • Author or Editor: Michael Hays x
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OBJECTIVE To use variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis to determine the infecting serovar and strain for leptospiral DNA isolated from canine urine samples confirmed through PCR testing to contain pathogenic leptospires and to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of microscopic agglutination testing (MAT) for identifying the infecting serogroup.

DESIGN Diagnostic survey and test evaluation.

SAMPLE Leptospiral DNA isolated from urine samples from 98 dogs confirmed through PCR testing to have pathogenic leptospires in their urine.

PROCEDURES VNTR analysis of DNA isolates was performed to identify the infecting leptospiral serovar and strain by use of primer pairs for the loci 4, 7, 10, and Lb5. Eighteen pathogenic and 2 saprophytic leptospiral serovars were used as reference strains for VNTR analysis. Results of MAT were compared with those of the PCR assay and VNTR analysis to determine the sensitivity and specificity of MAT for diagnosing leptospirosis and identifying the infecting serovar at various reciprocal titers.

RESULTS VNTR analysis identified Leptospira kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa strain DF as the most common infecting serovar in dogs (78/98 [80%]). Thirteen unique VNTR patterns could not be identified by comparison with the Leptospira reference strains used. The MAT had a maximum sensitivity of 41% and a specificity of 100% for identifying Grippotyphosa as the infecting serogroup.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings confirmed the importance of Leptospira serovar Grippotyphosa among dogs in the United States. Serologic testing had poor sensitivity for identifying the infecting serogroup, and conclusions about emerging serogroups should be cautiously interpreted when serologic data are reported.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate, under field conditions, the effects of a commercial porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) vaccine on mortality rate and growth performance in a herd infected with PCV2 that had a history of porcine circovirus disease.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—485 commercial, cross-bred, growing pigs.

Procedures—Prior to weaning, pigs were randomly assigned within litter to a vaccination or unvaccinated control group. Pigs in the vaccination group were given a commercial PCV2 vaccine at weaning and 3 weeks later. Mortality rate was recorded, and pigs were weighed prior to vaccination, when moved from the nursery, and prior to marketing. Infection status was assessed by serologic testing and detection of viral DNA in serum.

Results—Compared with control pigs, pigs vaccinated against PCV2 had a significantly lower mortality rate during the finishing phase, significantly higher average daily gain during the finishing phase, and significantly lower likelihood of being lightweight at the time of marketing. For vaccinated pigs, overall mortality rate was reduced by 50% and average daily gain during the finishing period was increased by 9.3%. At the time of marketing, vaccinated pigs weighed an average of 8.8 kg (19.4 lb) more than control pigs, without any difference in days to marketing. Serum PCV2 antibody titers increased in control pigs, and PCV2 DNA was detected, indicating active PCV2 infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that vaccination against PCV2 was effective at reducing mortality rate and improving growth performance among pigs in a herd infected with PCV2.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association