Leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease with a world-wide distribution, causes significant disease in humans and animals. This thesis presents experimental work dealing with the serological diagnosis of leptospirosis in humans and animal populations. Chapters 2-5 of this thesis have been published, Chapter 6 has been accepted for publication pending acceptance of minor changes, and Chapter 7 is currently in review for publication. This thesis is produced as a collection of papers, with the intent that the work described herein is a coherent body work. The first chapter of this thesis presents a brief overview of leptospirosis and seeks to put the disease into historical context. It provides an overview of the classification of leptospires, as well as some general aspects of leptospirosis, including its transmission, incidence and clinical signs and symptoms in both humans and animals. This chapter also introduces the current methods of diagnosis, highlighting some major disadvantages of these assays and therefore the need for improved diagnostic assays and methods of detection.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2015.