Health for humans, animals & plants


| 2 min read
Human Animal Research

Leptospires are bacteria that can make people and animals ill. We are conducting research to reduce the risk of infection for humans.

Leptospires are bacteria that are mainly found in moist environments such as mud or freshwater lakes. These bacteria remain capable of multiplying for weeks in bodies of water.

Humans can become infected with leptospires through small injuries to the skin and contact with mucous membranes if they come into contact with the urine of infected animals or with water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. The disease, known as leptospirosis, causes flu-like symptoms in humans, but can also be severe and even fatal. In Austria, leptospirosis is a seasonal disease that occurs more frequently in summer and (early) autumn.

In cattle, leptospirosis can lead to miscarriages, reduced fertility or reduced milk production. In a joint research project with the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, we are collecting data on the spread of leptospirosis in Lower Austria: disease outbreaks and evidence in humans and animals indicate that leptospirosis is an increasing public health problem.

We proceed as follows: If, for example, there is an increase in abortions on a cattle farm in Lower Austria, urine samples from the cattle are analysed. In addition, kidneys from cattle from Lower Austrian farms with an increased risk of leptospira infection are tested at abattoirs. A mobile laboratory travels directly to the affected farm and carries out the first analysis steps of the urine samples on site. By assessing the risk of infection for severely affected occupational groups, the project will have a significant positive impact on human health.

Information on leptospirosis

| 2 min read
Human Animal Research

automatically translated

Jump to top