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Marie Moinet

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary Science)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Molecular and eco-epidemiology of Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Ballum in wild invasive mammals in a farming environment in New Zealand

In New Zealand, leptospirosis is an important infectious disease historically associated with livestock. Once formerly negligible in notified human cases, Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Ballum (one of the bacteria causing leptospirosis) is now more prevalent. It is associated with invasive wild mammals like rodents and hedgehogs, but their role has been overlooked for several decades. Using a multipronged approach, Dr Moinet investigated whether house mice, ship rats, and hedgehogs could be a source of infection for humans and livestock. She provided novel data for the prevalence (proportion of population infected) and seroprevalence (proportion of population with antibodies) of Ballum in wild mammals and for the density of infected mice in farming environments, while giving insights on the usefulness of genomic analyses at the local and international level. Dr Moinet ascertained that mice are the principal maintenance host of Ballum in New Zealand and that rats and hedgehogs are secondary hosts. Her findings underline the need to include wild hosts in control strategies.

Professor Jackie Benschop
Professor Cord Heuer
Dr Julie Collins-Emerson
Dr Dani Aberdein
Dr David Wilkinson
Dr Emilie Vallee