What is Leptospirosis?
Pathogenic spirochetes belonging to the genus Leptospira cause an infectious ailment in animals and humans, known as leptospirosis. It is believed to be the commonest zoonosis of the world and is linked to rodents in poor sanitation settings, agricultural occupations and recently with adventure sports involving mud, fresh water or soil.
Antibiotic therapy for treating mild leptospirosis is generally not required as it is usually self-limiting and resolves in most cases without requiring medical attention. Orally taken antibiotics reduce the duration of illness and most importantly shorten and reduce the excretion of leptospires through urine. Prophylactics can be used for an epidemic setting. If used, antibiotics might be needed and the treatment might include:
Patients having severe leptospirosis may need careful management for hepatic, renal, CNS and hematological complications and also supportive therapy. In case of renal failure, early start of peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis might decrease mortality rates by almost two thirds. Inotropic agents, ophthalmic drops or diuretics are all included in extra supportive care. This disease is spread worldwide but is commonest in the tropical areas. The prevalence of leptospirosis has increased with the changing climate patterns and trends relating to it. A wide range of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals get infected by leptospira. It is rare for humans to be chronic carriers for leptospira and are hence regarded as accidental hosts. Mucous membrane exposure and skin abrasion in an infected animal’s body are the main transmission gateways for leptospira. Leptospirosis treatment should start without haste. Treatment begins in patients with compatible symptoms. The standard for serologically identifying leptospires is only done by reference laboratories. Convalescent serum and paired acute specimens might give a delayed confirmation in the diagnosis. Oral doxycycline shows decrease in the fever’s duration and major symptoms in simple infections which don’t need hospitalization. Patients undergoing hospitalization for leptospirosis respond best with penicillin G doses. Supportive therapy along with supervised management of hematological, renal, hepatic and CNS (central nervous system) involvements, is require for those affected with a serious leptospirosis form (Weil disease).
What is Leptospirosis?