Testing for Leptospirosis Through OSU VDL

Dr. DeBess, the State Public Health Veterinarian, has provided this update on testing available through OSU VDL.


The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory continues to offer a Leptospira spp Real-Time PCR assay for testing blood, urine and kidney tissue. Validation of the assay is now complete in accordance with AAVLD requirements. The diagnostic sensitivity of the assay is 95-100% when testing urine, blood and kidney tissues as compared to histopathology and through a cross-lab comparison with another AAVLD accredited laboratory. Specimens from alpacas, cats, dogs, foxes, coyotes, deer, elk, rats, seals and sea lions have been tested.

Of the Leptospira species tested, this universal Leptospira spp Real-Time PCR assay detects the pathogenic species, including the serovars most commonly found in dogs (icterohaemorrhagiae, canicola, pomona, bratislava, grippotyphosa and autumnalis), and does not detect the non-pathogenic species.1  However, this is a universal Leptospira spp PCR assay and cannot differentiate between serovars.

The Leptospira spp Real-Time PCR assay can detect Leptospira species in blood during the acute phase of the infection, usually during the first week prior to seroconversion. Detection in urine is usually 7-14 days post infection, and it may or may not be detected in the blood at this time. We recommend testing both blood and urine due to variations in shedding.

Test: Leptospira spp Real-Time PCR assay


Blood and Urine: $20.00 each

Kidney Tissues: $32.50 each for the first 2, then $22.50 for each additional sample submitted at the same time from the same owner.

Specimen/Shipping Requirements: Ship overnight on ice in leak-proof container.


  • 5-10 ml fresh urine-keep refrigerated-Do not freeze
  • 2-4 ml whole blood (EDTA-purple top)


  • Fresh kidney

Turnaround Time: 1-3 business days

For further information please contact the OSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Molecular Diagnostics Section at (541) 737-6615.

You must include their submission form

Updated: 2012-01-09 08:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association