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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 3760674, 8 pages
Research Article

Diversity of Leptospira spp. in Rats and Environment from Urban Areas of Sarawak, Malaysia

1Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Lesley Maurice Bilung; ym.saminu@yelselbm

Received 11 November 2016; Revised 9 January 2017; Accepted 6 February 2017; Published 28 February 2017

Academic Editor: Jean-Paul J. Gonzalez

Copyright © 2017 Chai Fung Pui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Various prevalence studies on Leptospira in animals and humans, as well as environmental samples, had been conducted worldwide, including Malaysia. However, limited studies have been documented on the presence of pathogenic, intermediate, and saprophytic Leptospira in selected animals and environments. This study was therefore conducted to detect Leptospira spp. in rats, soil, and water from urban areas of Sarawak using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. A total of 107 rats, 292 soil samples, and 324 water samples were collected from April 2014 to February 2015. Pathogenic Leptospira was present in 5.6% (6/107) of rats, 11.6% (34/292) of soil samples, and 1.9% (6/324) of water samples. Intermediate Leptospira was present in 2.7% (8/292) of soil samples and 1.9% (6/324) of water samples. Saprophytic Leptospira was present in 10.3% (11/107) of rats, 1.4% (4/292) of soil samples, and 0.3% (1/324) of water samples. From this study, 76 Leptospira spp. were isolated. Based on DNA sequencing, the dominant Leptospira spp. circulating in urban areas of Sarawak are pathogenic Leptospira noguchii, intermediate Leptospira wolffii serovar Khorat, and saprophytic Leptospira meyeri, respectively. Overall, this study provided important surveillance data on the prevalence of Leptospira spp. from rats and the environment, with dominant local serovars in urban areas of Sarawak.