Emerging infectious disease implications of invasive mammalian species : the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is associated with a novel serovar of pathogenic Leptospira in Ireland

Nally, J, Arent, Z, Bayles, D, Hornsby, R, Gilmore, C, Regan, S, McDevitt, A, Yearsley, J, Fanning, S and McMahon, B 2016, 'Emerging infectious disease implications of invasive mammalian species : the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is associated with a novel serovar of pathogenic Leptospira in Ireland' , PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 10 , e0005174.

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Abstract

The greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is an invasive mammalian species that was first recorded in Ireland in 2007. It currently occupies an area of approximately 7,600 km2 on the island. C. russula is normally distributed in Northern Africa and Western Europe, and was previously absent from the British Isles. Whilst invasive species can have dramatic and rapid impacts on faunal and floral communities, they may also be carriers of pathogens facilitating disease transmission in potentially naive populations. Pathogenic leptospires are endemic in Ireland and a significant cause of human and animal disease. From 18 trapped C. russula, 3 isolates of Leptospira were cultured. However, typing of these isolates by standard serological reference methods was negative, and suggested an, as yet, unidentified serovar. Sequence analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA and secY indicated that these novel isolates belong to Leptospira alstonii, a unique pathogenic species of which only 7 isolates have been described to date. Earlier isolations were limited geographically to China, Japan and Malaysia, and this leptospiral species had not previously been cultured from mammals. Restriction enzyme analysis (REA) further confirms the novelty of these strains since no similar patterns were observed with a reference database of leptospires. As with other pathogenic Leptospira species, these isolates contain lipL32 and do not grow in the presence of 8-azagunaine; however no evidence of disease was apparent after experimental infection of hamsters. These isolates are genetically related to L. alstonii but have a novel REA pattern; they represent a new serovar which we designate as serovar Room22. This study demonstrates that invasive mammalian species act as bridge vectors of novel zoonotic pathogens such as Leptospira.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1935-2727
Related URLs:
Funders: Irish Research Council, Heritage Council, Ireland, Genetics Society, Vincent Wildlife Trust
Depositing User: Dr A McDevitt
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 21:12
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40948

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