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Wild brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) are frequently implicated in the spread of Weil's disease. Wild brown rats (n = 259) were trapped from 11 UK farms and tested for Leptospira spp. using a number of diagnostic tests. In total, 37 (14 %) rats were positive by at least one of the tests, which contrasts with the frequently reported prevalence of 50-70 % for wild rats in the UK. However (n < 510) wild rats trapped from the same farms were found to carry numerous other zoonotic pathogens, often at high prevalence. We suggest that it may be time to look beyond Leptospira as the rat-borne risk to humans and livestock. © 1995, Walter de Gruyter. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





615 - 622