Leptospirosis has significantly decreased in Korea since 1988, following the leptospiral vaccination programme initiated in 1988. Whether this wholly explains the decreased incidence is uncertain. As an initial step to answer this question, infection rates of Leptospira interrogans in field rodents, Apodemis agrarius, were examined and compared with previous data. Two hundred and twenty-two A. agrarius were captured during October-December 1996. Spirochaetes were isolated from 22 (9.9%) and leptospiral DNA was detected in an additional 6 rodents (12.6%). Subsequent microscopic agglutination tests (MAT) classified all these isolates as L. interrogans serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar lai. The above data did not significantly differ from previous surveys in 1984-7. There was no significant change of L. interrogans infection in field rodents following the introduction of the vaccination programme in Korea. Further studies are needed to determine the role of human vaccination in reducing incidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health