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Microagglutination test (MAT)

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Detection of agglutinating antibodies to Leptospira spp. by MAT.


Test Category:
Leptospira spp.
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Leptospirosis

Fresh human serum.

Minimum volume required is 0.25 mL.

Icteric, hyperlipaemic, haemolysed or contaminated sera may yield erroneous results.


Collection Method:

Collect blood in serum separator tubes.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Transfer an aliquot of serum to a 1.5 mL screw-top vial with O-ring (Sarstedt vial). Store specimen refrigerated up to five days or store frozen until shipped for testing. Ship frozen on dry ice or with freezer packs.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.


Patient Criteria:

Symptoms of Leptospira spp. infection may include fever, headache, chills, severe malaise, skin rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia, conjunctival suffusion, jaundice, kidney and/or liver failure, meningitis and chest pains.

The MAT is intended only for human sera which are positive or equivocal on the Leptospira IgM screening assay (e.g., ELISA).

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Requisition for Serological Testing for Selected Zoonotic Agents. If possible, include the clinical history and lab results performed at local or provincial laboratories.


Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume or are not accompanied by relevant patient information or clinical history.

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

In-house MAT (using up to 20 serovars). This test is performed only on samples with are positive or equivocal by ELISA (IgM).


Current serovars:

Australis; Australis; Ballico

Australis; Bratislava; Jez Bratislava

Autumnalis; Autumnalis; Akiyami A

Ballum; Ballum; Mus 127

Bataviae; Bataviae; Van Tienen

Canicola; Canicola; Ruebush

Celledoni; Celledoni; Celledoni

Cynopteri; Cynopteri; 3522 C

Djasiman; Djasiman; Djasiman

Moskva V; Grippotyphosa type Moskva; Moskova V

Hebdomadis; Borincana; HS 622

Icterohaemorrhagiae; Icterohaemorrhagiae; RGA

Icterohaemorrhagiae; Mankarso; Mankarso

Javanica; Javanica; Veldrat Bataviae 46

Mini; Georgia; LT 117

Pomona; Pomona; Pomona

Pyrogenes; Alexi; HS 616

Pyrogenes; Pyrogenes; Salinem

Sejroe; Wolffi; 3705

Tarassovi; Tarassovi; Perepelitsin


Initial screening titre is 1:100 and if necessary, endpoint titres will be determined.

Supportive criteria for a probable case of Leptospirosis include a single MAT titre of ≥ 1:100, accompanied by a clinically compatible illness.

Criteria required for a confirmed diagnosis include a MAT titre of ≥ 1:800 in one or more serum samples or a four-fold or greater increase in a MAT titre between acute and convalescent serum samples. Serologic evidence of infection is best obtained by testing acute and convalescent phase serum specimens collected 3 – 6 weeks apart.

Initiation of antibiotic treatment prior to testing may result in decreased antibody production which will affect the outcome of serological testing.

Turnaround Time:

Up to 30 calendar days

Phone #: (204) 789-6068
Fax: (204) 789-2082
  1. Levett, P.N. Leptospirosis (2001) Clin. Micro. Rev. (14): 296-326.
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