Background: Leptospirosis is a global zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira. The non-specific clinical signs and symptoms of leptospirosis lead to its misdiagnosis. To date, there is still no reliable rapid test kit that can accurately diagnose leptospirosis at bedside or in field. In this research, with the ultimate goal of formulating a rapid and accurate diagnostic tool for leptospirosis, we aimed to identify leptospiral proteins excreted in urine of infected hamsters, which are thought to mimic Weil's disease. Results: Hamsters were subcutaneously infected with leptospires, and the general attributes of urine as well as the proteins excreted in it were examined. Some leptospiral proteins were found to be excreted in the urine from the early phase of infection. The most important finding of this study was the detection of the lipid-metabolizing enzyme, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (HADH), before the onset of illness, when leptospires were not yet detected in the urine of infected hamsters. Conclusions: This is the first report on the detection of leptospiral HADH in the host urine, which may be a possible candidate leptospiral antigen that can be used in the early diagnosis of human and animal leptospirosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)