Leptospirosis in horses

Ashutosh Verma, Brian Stevenson, Ben Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Leptospirosis in horses has been considered a relatively uncommon infection. However, recent data suggest that the infection is widespread, with the incidence and infecting serovars varying considerably in different geographical regions. The majority of infections remain asymptomatic. Clinical signs in equine leptospirosis resemble those seen in other animal species. However, leptospirosis as a cause of acute respiratory distress is becoming more frequently recognised. A particular feature of equine leptospirosis is post infection recurrent uveitis (moon blindness or periodic ophthalmia), which appears to be mediated by autoimmune mechanisms involving cross reactivity between ocular tissues and leptospiral membrane proteins. There are no leptospiral vaccines licensed for use in horses, with no prospect for any becoming available in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, prevention of equine leptospirosis must rely on good hygiene practices, minimisation of rodent contact, and vaccination of other species of production and companion animals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61 - 66
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cite this