Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Elsio Wunder


Pathogenic Leptospira species causes millions of leptospirosis cases around the world and is an urgent public health issue that needs to be properly addressed. The infection leads to clinical manifestations ranging from self-limiting febrile illness to severe life-threatening symptoms. Currently, there is a lack of sensitive assay for early diagnosis of leptospirosis, and there is no FDA-approved vaccine for human use in the United States. Despite the worldwide occurrence of this zoonotic disease, low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by it. A better understanding of the pathogenesis of Leptospira is a crucial step for the development of better diagnostic assays and effective vaccines. Currently, leptospiral research is highly dependent on animal models, which increases the cost and time of research, and can’t eliminate the lack of reproducibility among different species, especially humans, while raising ethical issues. In this study, we evaluated and compared the gene expression of Leptospira on the transcriptome level. We compared different growth media with the hamster model to identify a medium that can be used as an in vitro surrogate for the host environment in key steps of leptospiral research. The results show that among different media tested, EMEM and DMEM are better choices to mimic the host environment.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access