Title:Canine Leptospirosis in Ireland & the UK
Leptospirosis is the most widespread and potentially fatal bacterial zoonosis worldwide. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, sufficient evidence exists to indicate that several domestic animal species are routinely exposed to infectious isolates of Leptospira including cattle, sheep and dogs. Such domestic species can also act as reservoir hosts of infection, shedding the organism via urine into the environment, increasing the risk of exposure to humans. Currently, little is known about the epidemiology or pathogenesis of leptospirosis in the Republic of Ireland or the British Isles. Steps must be taken to tackle these gaps in current knowledge and understanding of human and animal leptospirosis infection across the region. This project aims to highlight the current situation concerning canine Leptospira infection in Ireland and the United Kingdom and stress the need for further research into the epidemiology and pathogenesis of the disease and to emphasize the need for advances in diagnostic work.