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Welcome to Leptospirosis New Zealand.

Welcome to the Leptospirosis, New Zealand web-site which brings together information and news on Leptospirosis. The web-site is aimed at anyone wanting to know about the disease for any reason: from those with a general interest to those with specific needs such as those in farming, rural industries, veterinary services, animal health companies and research. The site is open to all and is aimed to allow users to easily find general information or to those wanting more specific details either on the site and or through links to other sites. 

Emerging sources and pathways for leptospirosis: a paradigm shift

Massey University has been funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand to understand how people get leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called Leptospira. There are over 300 different kinds of Leptospira worldwide but only 5 of these has been found to be circulating in New Zealand. These are called serovars. The 5 serovars circulating in New Zealand are called Hardjo, Pomona, Copenhageni, Ballum and Tarassovi. The bacteria can infect any mammal and can live in their kidneys. It is secreted in the urine of infected mammals and can survive in the environment (soil and water) for a long time.

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New lepto-strain found in cattle

A survey of 200 dairy farms across New Zealand found 75% herds positive for the lepto strain 'Tarassovi' which has rarely been seen in the past. Further review of notified human cases saw dairy farm workers making up 33% of the cases and testing far more often for Tarassovi than dry stock farmers or abattoir workers. The new strain has presumably evolved over some 30 years since the last published report of leptospirosis in dairy herds .

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10th International Leptospirosis Society Meeting


 The 10th International Leptospirosis Society Meeting was held in Palmerston North, Manawatu New Zealand.
 27th Nov - 1st Dec 2017  

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The Farmer Leptospirosis Action Group project team features representatives from Rural Women New Zealand, the Deer Farmers’ Association, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

Massey University veterinary researchers have joined the action group FLAG with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of leptospirosis and its effect on the New Zealand agricultural industry.

With funding from the government’s Sustainable Farming Fund, Massey researchers have devised a Farmer Leptospirosis Action Group that hopes to find out if leptospirosis affects productivity.

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Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria known as Leptospira. It can affect almost all mammals, and is one of the most common diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

As New Zealand has only two native land mammals (both bats), Leptospira are thought to have come to New Zealand via imported stock animals and other introduced mammals such as rats, hedgehogs and possums. This situation is unique and influences the management strategies and decisions around diagnostics in this country.


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