A set of 723 diagnostic sera from human patients, submitted for the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for antibodies to a group of 6 leptospiral serovars, was also tested by MAT for antibodies to the recently-discovered Leptospira fainei serovar hurstbridge. MAT titres of [ges ]128 to serovar hurstbridge were detected in 13·4% of these sera, and titres of [ges ]512 in 7·2%. In contrast, none of 62 sera obtained from a control population of laboratory staff gave titres of [ges ]128. The difference between the number of titres of [ges ]128 given by the two groups of sera was highly significant (P<0·01). The titres observed may have been due to cross-reactions with other leptospiral serovars, but this could not be demonstrated. An alternative explanation is that serovar hurstbridge is present in the human population.
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