To understand the potential role of bats in the epidemiology of Leptospira, we investigated the frequency of Leptospira in bats from Central China in 2018. Sixty bats belonging to four species of two families were captured from rural areas of Xianning City, Hubei Province, China. We extracted DNA from the kidneys of bats, and Leptospira spp. were determined by PCR amplification of the rrs2, flaB, lipL32, and secY genes. We found that 57% (34/60) of bats were positive for Leptospira with at least one of the four genes, and the positive rate of Leptospira in bats was 45% (27/60) with rrs2, 50% (30/60) with flaB, 15% (9/60) with lipL32, and 27% (16/ 60) with secY. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that bats were infected with two species of Leptospira, including Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii. A high prevalence of Leptospira spp. in bats suggested that bats were important carriers of Leptospira in China.
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Vol. 55 • No. 4