Molecular characterization of Leptospira spp. strains isolated from small rodents in Croatia
We report the isolation and characterization of 16 Leptospira spp. strains isolated from small rodents captured in 11 different regions of inland Croatia. Large NotI and SgrAI restriction fragment allowed us to assign 10 isolates to the serovar istrica, 5 isolates to the serovar tsaratsovo and 1 isolate to the serovar lora. The phylogenetic analysis conducted from the sequences of the first 330 bp from the 16S rDNA gene revealed that the strains belonged to three different species, L. borgpetersenii, L. kirschneri and L. interrogans. Carrier rates in eight rodent species varied from 0 to 71·4%. Mus musculus showed the highest infection level and confirmed its role as a major reservoir of the serogroup Sejroë. For the first time we reported the occurrence of serovars tsaratsovo and lora in Croatia.(Accepted October 2 2002)
c1 Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia, Heinzelova 55, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.