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Case of clinical canine leptospirosis in Uganda
  1. Lordrick Alinaitwe1,
  2. Steven Kakooza1,
  3. Wilfred Eneku1,
  4. Anou Dreyfus2 and
  5. Sabrina Rodriguez-Campos3
  1. 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  2. 2Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sabrina Rodriguez-Campos, Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; sabrina.rodriguez{at}


In this report, we present the first confirmed case of clinical leptospirosis in a dog in Uganda. A five-year-old entire male German shepherd dog from a kennel of 25 guard dogs was admitted to the animal clinic and presented hypothermia, lethargy and jaundice of the mucous membranes. The body temperature remained low during the three days post admission until death. The postmortem examination and histological findings led to suspicion of acute leptospirosis. The diagnosis was confirmed by demonstration of pathogenic Leptospira spp DNA in homogenates of the kidney, liver and lungs by real-time PCR. This case highlights that accurate diagnostic methods are needed to clarify if clinical leptospirosis is to date underestimated in Uganda and if it has an impact on public health. Awareness should be raised among veterinarians to consider leptospirosis more often as a differential diagnosis as a consequence of the non-specific signs observed in the presented case.

  • leptospirosis
  • dog
  • laboratory diagnostics
  • real-time pcr

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  • Contributors AD, LA and SRC conceived the study. LA, AD and SRC were responsible for the study coordination and the data and sample collection. LA, SK and WE were responsible for the pathological and histopathological analyses and bacteriological sampling. LA visited the kennels and was responsible for the follow-up of the case. LA and SRC were responsible for the DNA extraction and real-time PCR. LA, SK, WE, AD and SRC drafted the manuscript. SRC edited the manuscript. All of the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This study was possible thanks to financial support from the North-South Cooperation at the University of Zurich, the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement More data can be obtained from the authors upon request.

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