Leptospires were isolated from the kidneys of four of 211 toads (Bufo marinus) caught on Barbados. Two of the isolates were identified as Leptospira interrogans serovar bim in the Autumnalis serogroup (the most common cause of leptospiral illness on Barbados), and two as possibly new serovars in the Australis serogroup. Sera from 198 of the toads were examined by the leptospire microscopic agglutination test. Forty-two (21%) were positive at titers of ≥ 1:100, and 54 (27%) at ≥1:50. The predominating serogroups were Australis (50%), Autumnalis (23%) and Panama (13%). The agglutination tests on the culture-positive toads showed that serologic studies alone may be of limited value in these animals. Bufo marinus can harbor pathogenic leptospires, and it may be a significant source of the Autumnalis serogroup infections in the Caribbean.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2