OBJECTIVE: To determine the diagnostic value of a serologic microagglutination test (MAT) and a PCR assay on urine and blood for the diagnosis of leptospirosis in dogs with acute kidney injury (AKI).
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. Animals-76 dogs with AKI in a referral hospital (2008 to 2009).
PROCEDURES: Dogs' leptospirosis status was defined with a paired serologic MAT against a panel of 11 Leptospira serovars as leptospirosis-associated (n = 30) or nonleptospirosis-associated AKI (12). In 34 dogs, convalescent serologic testing was not possible, and leptospirosis status was classified as undetermined. The diagnostic value of the MAT single acute or convalescent blood sample was determined in dogs in which leptospirosis status could be classified. The diagnostic value of a commercially available genus-specific PCR assay was evaluated by use of 36 blood samples and 20 urine samples.
RESULTS: Serologic acute testing of an acute blood sample had a specificity of 100% (95% CI, 76% to 100%), a sensitivity of 50% (33% to 67%), and an accuracy of 64% (49% to 77%). Serologic testing of a convalescent blood sample had a specificity of 92% (65% to 99%), a sensitivity of 100% (87% to 100%), and an accuracy of 98% (88% to 100%). Results of the Leptospira PCR assay were negative for all samples from dogs for which leptospirosis status could be classified.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Serologic MAT results were highly accurate for diagnosis of leptospirosis in dogs, despite a low sensitivity for early diagnosis. In this referral setting of dogs pretreated with antimicrobials, testing of blood and urine samples with a commercially available genus-specific PCR assay did not improve early diagnosis.