Molecular detection of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in urban rodents from wet markets in northeast Malaysia
Intan Noor Aina Kamaruzaman, Muhamad Aiman Mohd Mokhtar, Hong Wei Ting, Yong Kai Yuan, Azim Wafiy Gulam Shah, Tan Wan Loong, Nurshahirah Shaharulnizim, Mohd Farhan Hanif Reduan, Fathin Faahimaah Abdul Hamid, Nur Amalina Noralidin, Nur Athirah Abdul Manaf, Che Wan Salma Che Wan Zalati, Loong Shih-Keng, Simon Clegg, Luqman Abu-Bakar.
Objective: This short study describes the occurrence of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in two major wet markets in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: 30 rodents (20 rats and 10 shrews) were caught in 2 wet markets, and a postmortem was performed to extract both kidneys. Molecular diagnosis via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was conducted to detect leptospiral DNA using universal and pathogenic Leptospira primers, respectively.
Results: The results showed that 20/28 (72%) rat samples were detected positive for Leptospira spp, and all shrews were negative. Further sequencing analysis identified L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii as the most frequently Leptospirosis species from kidney samples.
Conclusions: The presented study here sheds light on the presence of pathogenic leptospires har¬boring the rat population in both wet markets in Kelantan, which presents a great public health risk to wet market workers and visitors.
Key words: Leptospires; Malaysia; molecular detection; PCR; rodents; wet market