20 Nov 2015

Highly Pathogenic Leptospira in Urban Brown Rats

Submitted by ohsadmin

An article by several members of One Health Sweden was published online ahead of print on the 18th of November:

Strand Tanja M., Löhmus Mare, Persson Vinnersten Thomas, Råsbäck Therese, Sundström Karin, Bergström Tomas, and Lundkvist Åke. Highly Pathogenic Leptospira Found in Urban Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus) in the Largest Cities of Sweden. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/vbz.2015.1800.



Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonosis of global concern; however, its contemporary occurrence in Sweden, a European country partly located north of the Arctic Circle, is poorly known. Four out of 30 brown rats, captured within urban districts in Sweden, were found to be positive for antibodies to Leptospira interrogans serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae. This serovar causes Weil's disease in humans, a severe infection with jaundice, renal failure, and hemorrhage. Our study is the first finding of this highly pathogenic serovar in Swedish rats since the 1930s.


Highlighted in the media

The findings have been highlighted by a number of Swedish media, for instance: