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: Surveillance data from North-West Russia indicate a prevalence of antibodies to Leptospira in 5.2% of small mammals, 20% of farm animals and 19-40% of dogs. In 1992-2001, the mean annual incidence in humans varied between regions from 0.2 in the Pskov region to 1.6 in Saint-Petersburg per 100 000 population. In some regions the case fatality was 25%. Rodents and dogs have become important sources of human infections.