Histopathological kidney alterations in rats naturally infected with leptospira

Piedad Agudelo-Flórez, Victoria Eugenia Murillo, Andrés Felipe Londoño, Juan David Rodas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Histopathological changes by Leptospira in naturally infected rodent reservoirs have been poorly described. Objective: The aim of the current study is to describe renal histopathology associated with leptospirosis infection of naturally infected rodents captured in the urban area of the city of Medellin, Colombia. Materials and methods: We performed hematoxilin-eosin (H-E) on kidney samples collected from 254 captured rodents. The positive samples were processed by Warthin Starry (W-S) staining and PCRLipL32. Results: Fifty one rodent kidneys showed H-E histopathological changes that consisted of inflammatory infiltrate with lympho-plasmocitary cells and histiocytes. We performed W-S staining and PCR-LipL32 to 67 kidney samples, including the 51 that had shown detectable changes by H-E and 16 (8%) of 203 rodents with negative results. Eight of the samples that tested positive for H-E (15.7%) were also positive for W-S staining. All negative for H-E were also negative for W-S staining. Of the W-S positive samples also tested for culture only three tested positive for both. Additionally, 47 (92.1%) samples positive for H-E were positive for PCR; while eleven of the 16 (68.8%) negative for H-E were positive for PCR. The samples positive for PCR were subsequently tested for culture and 11 (23.4%) were positive. Seven samples were positive for PCR and W-S and three were positive for PCR, W-S and culture. All of the PCR-LipL32 fragments were sequenced and showed specific amplicons for L. interrogans. Conclusions: The Leptospira infection was confirmed in all of the animals tested. The only histological kidney lesion attributable to leptospiral infection in the reservoir was interstitial nephritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematoxylin
  • Leptospira/pathology
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Rodent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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