Detection of Leptospira interrogans in fixed equine eyes affected with end-stage equine recurrent uveitis
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Equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is the most frequent cause of blindness in horses worldwide. Leptospira has been implicated as an etiologic agent in some cases of ERU. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of Leptospira antigen and DNA in fixed equine ocular tissues affected with end-stage ERU. Sections of eyes from 30 horses were obtained. Controls included (1) ten normal equine eyes and (2) ten equine eyes with a non-recurrent form of uveitis. The experimental group consisted of 10 eyes diagnosed with ERU. Sections were subjected to immunohistochemical staining with rabbit anti-Leptospira polyclonal antibodies. Real-time PCR analysis was completed on extracted DNA. Two out of 10 test samples were positive for Leptospira antigen. Zero of 20 controls were positive for Leptospira antigen. All test samples and controls were negative for Leptospira DNA. Leptospira was detected at a lower frequency than that previously reported for fresh ERU affected aqueous humor and vitreous samples.