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Leptospira and Recurrent Uveitis

Leptospirosis is a potential cause of ERU in Belgium, and both intraocular media should be tested when possible.
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Interocular media should be tested in horses suspected of having equine recurrent uveitis.

A study done at The University of Liège titled "Detection of intraocular Leptospira spp. by real-time polymerase chain reaction in horses with recurrent uveitis in Belgium" was aimed to establish the prevalence of intraocular Leptospira spp. in the aqueous and vitreous humour of horses with equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) in Belgium. The study published in the Equine Veterinary Journal was authored by by Sauvage, A.C.; Monclin, S.J.; Elansary, M.; Hansen, P.; and Grauwels, M.F.

Samples were obtained as part of the diagnostic work-up from 66 eyes from 59 client-owned horses admitted to the Equine Clinic at the University of Liège in Belgium between May 2015 and December 2017 with a history and an ophthalmic examination consistent with ERU and post-mortem from 50 healthy eyes from 28 horses euthanized for unrelated reasons. In the ERU group, only the affected eyes were sampled, with both humours of the same eye being sampled and analyzed in 47/66 eyes. In the control group, both the aqueous and vitreous humours were sampled in all 50 eyes. Real‐time PCR for the detection of Leptospira spp. was performed.

In the ERU‐group the prevalence of Leptospira spp. was 30.3% (20/66 eyes from 19 horses), whereas all samples from the control group tested negative. Leptospira spp. were identified in 11/63 aqueous and 17/50 vitreous humour samples, with eight horses testing positive in both humours and one horse testing positive in both eyes.

Take-Home Message

Leptospirosis is a potential cause of ERU in Belgium, and both intraocular media should be tested when possible.

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