Anou Dreyfus

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary science)
Study Completed: 2013
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Leptospirosis in humans and pastoral livestock in New Zealand

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Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease affecting all mammals including humans, domestic livestock and wild animals. It is also the most important occupationally-acquired zoonotic disease affecting meat workers, farmers and veterinarians in New Zealand. Mrs. Dreyfus demonstrated that Leptospira is endemic in sheep, deer and beef cattle, and that these species are the main reservoirs for human infection with two Leptospira serotypes. She provided evidence that exposure to animals at slaughter caused infection of meat workers, and found that infection was related to work position. The data showed that meat workers fell ill with leptospirosis at a higher rate than officially notified. A worker''srisk for a new infection was about 10% per year, and 20% of the infections developed further to clinical illness. The work also contributed to newly developed guidelines about vaccination of animals to protect exposed humans from infection.

Professor Cord Heuer
Professor Peter Wilson
Dr Julie Collins-Emerson
Professor Jackie Benschop