Muskrats as carriers of pathogenic leptospires in The Netherlands

A. C.M. Steinen, J. L. Schuurman, C. Gravekamp, H. Korver, W. J. Terpstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Leptospires were isolated from 24 of 327 (7%) muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) caught in The Netherlands. All isolates were identified as Leptospira interrogans. One isolate was typed as serovar copenhageni in the Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup, one as serovar lora in the Australis serogroup. Twenty-one isolates showed a close relationship with serovars grippotyphosa, valbuzzi, muelleri and ratnapura from the Grippotyphosa serogroup. One isolate was lost. Sera from 196 muskrats were examined by the microscopic agglutination test. Forty-five (23%) sera reacted positively (titers≧1: 160), 42 (21%) of these 45 sera to Grippotyphosa and 3 (2%) to Sejroe serogroup antigens. This is the first report of serological and cultural evidence of leptospira infection in muskrats in The Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Ondatra zibethicus
  • The Netherlands
  • grippotyphosa
  • leptospires
  • muskrats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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