Pathophysiology: Leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection spread by animals. It's caused by a strain of bacteria called leptospira. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. The early stages of the disease may include high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness in the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, haemorrhages in skin and mucous membranes (including pulmonary bleeding), vomiting, diarrhoea and a rash. Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all.
Treatment: Effective antibiotics include penicillin G, ampicillin, amoxicillin and Doxycycline. In more severe cases cefotaxime or ceftriaxone should be preferred.Glucose and salt solution infusions may be administered; dialysis is used in serious cases. Elevations of serum potassium are common and if the potassium level gets too high special measures must be taken. Serum phosphorus levels may likewise increase to unacceptable levels due to renal failure.
Statistics: The recent epidemiological trends of human leptospirosis in Italy were investigated using data collected for the years 1981-1985. A total of 626 hospitalized patients with clinical diagnoses of suspected leptospirosis were reported by hospital centers from several Italian regions. Epidemiological, clinical and seroimmunological data were collected in 517 of these cases and examined by the National Center for Leptospirosis. Serological findings in 33.5% of these subjects met the criteria for confirmation of the disease. In 21.8% of the subjects, low titer antibodies were detected, which possibly reflected previous leptospiral infections.