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Sharon Sunil*, Janet Jacob and Bincy Varghese


Leptospirosis is one of the most recognized zoonotic diseases around the world. It is a zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes belonging to genus Leptospira which affects both animals and humans. Leptospirosis has been recognized as an important emerging zoonotic disease because of its epidemic presence and increasing incidence in both developing and developed countries. Leptospirosis is still a major public health problem in tropical countries, with epidemic outbreaks occurring in the rainy season and after floods. Leptospira are transmitted in the urine of infected carrier animals. Rats are universal reservoirs for this spirochetal zoonosis, although farm animals and livestock can also acquire the infection. Infection occurs when spirochetes in contaminated water or soil enter microabrasions on the skin or intact mucous membranes. The infection may be nonsymptomatic or may result in different clinical conditions ranging from fever, malaise, myalgia, meningism, and conjunctivitis, as well as anorexia, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Initial signs of serious infection can include jaundice, hemorrhage, and hepatosplenomegaly. The most severe form of leptospirosis is called Weil syndrome which can result in hepatic and renal failure or massive pulmonary hemorrhage; both forms can progress rapidly to death if untreated. The present review highlights the leptospirosis, epidemiology, susceptible population, disease transmission, clinical manifestation, pathogenesis, diagnosis and management along with effective preventive strategies with a view to combat this organism having public health significance.

Keywords: Leptospirosis, Weil’s disease, Leptospira.

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