Bats have been implicated as potential carriers of Leptospira as a result of surveys, mostly in Australia and South America. We measured the prevalence of pathogenic leptospires in kidneys of bats from Kansas and Nebraska. From 7 August 2012 to 21 August 2012, we extracted DNA from kidneys of 98 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) submitted and found negative for rabies. The DNA was processed in a two-step, seminested PCR assay with a dual-labeled Taqman probe specific for pathogenic leptospires. As a negative control, we used a saprophytic leptospire (Leptospira biflexa Patoc) and, as a pathogenic control, Leptospira interrogans Canicola. All bat kidneys were negative for pathogenic leptospires, suggesting that it is unlikely that the big brown bat, one of the most prevalent bat species in North America, is a reservoir for transmission of leptospires to dogs or humans.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3