Canine Leptospirosis Surveillance in Washington February 19, 2008

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Canine Leptospirosis Surveillance in Washington

  • February 19, 2008

  • ADED Zoonoses Rounds

  • Liz Dykstra, PhD

  • Zoonotic Disease Program

  • Washington Dept. of Health

The Washington State Situation

  • Leptospirosis Overview

  • History

  • Findings

  • Outbreaks

  • Ongoing & Future Work

Clinical Signs & Lab Test Results

  • Vomiting

  • Anorexia

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Febrile

  • Weight Loss

  • Depression/Lethargy


How are people and dogs getting leptospirosis?

Notifiable conditions and the veterinarian

  • Purpose

    • Integrate veterinarians into the public health system.
    • Enhance surveillance for zoonotic diseases, which indirectly enhances human surveillance
    • Enhance recognition and capacity to investigate emerging pathogens in animal reservoirs
    • Detect agents used intentionally in biowarfare.

Flowchart for Veterinary Notifiable Conditions

History of DOH Surveillance Program

Case Definition*

  • Acute onset of clinical signs including at least one of the following: fever, inappetance, abdominal pain, vomiting, jaundice, or polydipsia/polyuria, or oliguria.

  • AND

  • Laboratory findings of azotemia or elevated liver enzymes

  • OR

  • Histopathological diagnosis consistent with leptospirosis

  • AND

  • MAT titer >1:800 for Leptospira OR

  • FA+ urine OR

  • Histological staining of tissues positive for Leptospira

Morbidity & Mortality (n=183)

Average Monthly Reported Cases of Canine Leptospirosis in Washington July 2004 – January 2008 (n=183)

Canine Leptospirosis Cases by County July 2004 – January 2008

Leptospirosis Cases by Age & Gender (n=183)


  • Wildlife

  • Raccoons

  • Rats

  • Opossums

  • Squirrels

  • Access to standing or slow moving water

Leptospira Serovars Detected


  • Bainbridge Island, King County

    • December 2006
  • Vashon Island, King County

    • Dec 2005–Feb 2006

Ongoing and Future Work


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