National Journal of Basic Medical Sciences


Pages: 11-15DOI: 10.31975/NJBMS.2018.9102

Date of Publication: 30-Nov--0001

Leptospirosis - A Bird's Eye View

Author: Indra Priyadarsini

Category: Microbiology

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Leptospirosis, the most widespread zoonotic disease is currently emerging as a major public health problem. The causative organism of this disease is a spiral bacterium known as Leptospira with many serovars. Leptospira are antigenically diverse due to unstable antigenic composition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that brings out more than 200 recognized antigenic types (serovars) of pathogenic leptospira . The outbreak of Leptospirosis is usually associated with occupational exposure and also can occur sporadically or in epidemics. The clinical manifestations of human Leptospirosis are diverse, ranging from mild fever to severe disease known as Weil's disease, characterized by hepato-renal damage with pulmonary distress and hemorrhage that can lead to death. Laboratory diagnosis is usually performed by serological tests such as Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the Microscopic agglutination tests. Limitations of serological tests are that antibodies cannot be found in acute phase of the disease and only specialized laboratories can perform serologic tests. This eventually leads to delay in therapeutic interventions of the acutely ill patients.

Keywords: Leptospirosis, Zoonotic, MAT, Macroscopic Agglutination Test.