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: Leptospirosis is more common in tropical areas of the world and is still uncommon in the UK. In the last 5 years, 301 cases of leptospirosis were confirmed in the UK. A significant proportion (78/301, 25.9%) were acquired abroad the majority from tropical countries. The Far East is highly represented, being a favoured destination for British tourists. In the UK, the annual number of cases reported for England exceeds the combined total for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but appears to have fallen over the last 4 years.