, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 1-10
Date: 30 Aug 2013

The role of leptospirosis in reproductive disorders in horses

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Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of global importance and has a worldwide distribution. This infection displays clear seasonal nature in some regions of the tropics, where the rainy season is marked by high temperatures. Household and wild animals carry leptospires and contribute to their dissemination in nature. Transmission mainly occurs by contact with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals, and consequently, it is quite widespread especially in times of rain, since many areas are subject to flooding and have poor sanitation. Serological tests demonstrate that Leptospira sp. infection in horses occurs worldwide and that the predominant serovar may vary depending on the region or infection sources. Besides systemic and ocular manifestations, leptospirosis in horses has been recognized as an important disease of the reproductive system, since it leads to the birth of weak foals, stillbirths or neonatal mortality, and mainly to abortion, usually after the sixth month of pregnancy. In this context, this review aims to gather and discuss information about the role of leptospirosis in reproductive disorders in horses.