Leptospirosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that is caused by specific pathogens from the genus Leptospira. The pathological process affects primarily the capillaries, as well as the liver, kidneys and muscles.

The causative agent of this ailment penetrates the body through the wounds on the skin and mucous membranes. After a while, it penetrates into the blood and spreads through the body, affecting large organs. But the life cycle of leptospira does not end there. In the affected organs, they begin to grow and rapidly multiply, and after a while they again enter the bloodstream. Gradually the level of leptospira in the blood will begin to grow. This will be accompanied by severe intoxication. The patient will have fever, nausea, headache. Symptoms become more pronounced. Without proper treatment, hemorrhagic diathesis may develop or death may occur.


In the process of spreading this disease among people, animals play a priority role. Leptospirosis in humans can occur after close contact with them. Therefore, it is important to take timely preventive measures to prevent the development of pathology. Effective agent — leptospiroznaya vaccine.

The disease is transmitted:

  • by contact, if the skin is damaged — when swimming in reservoirs, cutting carcasses
  • by alimentary route. Anyone can become infected if they consume water from open water bodies of natural origin, unprocessed foods such as milk or meat.

Often the disease affects people whose prof. Activity is associated with constant contact with animals.

Outbreaks often occur in the summer. The disease is most often affected by people living in places with high humidity.


In addition to the known form of pathology, accompanied by a feverish period, in the presence of organ damage, the ailment can occur in an erased or abortive form. It is characterized by a short-term and insignificant increase in temperature, as well as the absence of organ damage.

The incubation period for leptospirosis is from 3 to 30 days. On average, for the first time the symptoms of infected people manifest themselves on 7-10 days.


The causative agent of the disease freely enters the human body through injured skin or through mucous membranes. Further, getting into the bloodstream, it moves to the parenchymal organs, where it reproduces for almost two weeks (the average duration of the incubation period). After that the causative agent again returns to the bloodstream and releases a huge amount of toxins that destroy the endothelium of the capillaries. Also, toxins «attack» the links of hemostasis.

From the human body, leptospira begin to leave a week after infection. This process can last several months or weeks. It all depends on the form of the disease and the severity of its course.


  1. In the acute period, an increase in body temperature to 39-40 degrees is observed. The flow of the disease is accompanied by chills. The temperature of a person can last very long — for 6-10 days;
  2. a person is thirsty;
  3. symptoms of intoxication of the body are expressed (they are noticeable even in the incubation period) due to poisoning by toxins released by leptospira
  4. pain in the lumbar region
  5. puffiness of the face
  6. myalgia. Pain in the muscles appear even in the initial period of the development of the disease. The most painful calf muscles are
  7. the skin of the neck and face is hyperemic. Also, the whites of the eyes are red;
  8. in some clinical situations reddening of the soft palate and throat is noted
  9. enlarged posterior lymph nodes (a characteristic symptom).

In some cases, with the progression of leptospirosis there is a rash. The place of its primary localization is the trunk, as well as limbs. Elements of it can be quite diverse:

  • red spots
  • papules;
  • rubella-like rashes
  • herpetic eruptions (on the nose and in the lips area).

Then the symptoms of the disease depend on which organ or system in the human body was affected:

  1. With liver damage in an acute period, people have hepatomegaly, icterus of skin and eye proteins
  2. If the SSS is damaged in the patient, palpitation becomes much less frequent, blood pressure drops
  3. If a person develops hemorrhagic syndrome, then on the body appear petechial rashes. Possible nasal bleeding and hemorrhages in the eye proteins
  4. signs of central nervous system damage — dizziness, impaired consciousness.


Diagnosis of leptospirosis is quite specific. It is important to immediately seek medical help when the first symptoms of an illness appear. The earlier this disease is identified, the easier it will be to cure. Clinicians consider:

  • the fact of a close relationship with wild or domestic animals
  • Did the sick person bathe in open natural water bodies
  • the patient’s profession.

For an accurate diagnosis, several studies are required:

  1. In blood smears using a darkfield microscope, you can identify leptospirae (the most accurate method for diagnosing leptospirosis)
  2. bacteriological method
  3. detecting antibodies to a specific pathogen in the patient’s blood.


With the first symptoms of an illness, people are immediately sent to a medical facility, since leptospirosis is a complex disease and can be treated only in a hospital setting. Treatment of leptospirosis is a very long and complex process.

Antibiotic therapy is prescribed taking into account the infectious agent, as well as its sensitivity to certain drugs.

If the ailment progresses and the patient develops an infectious-toxic shock, then he should immediately begin providing first aid. In / in is injected with saline solutions, freshly frozen plasma. In more severe clinical situations, hemodialysis is prescribed.

Diet plays an important role in the treatment of leptospirosis. The patient is made a diet, in which fats are limited, as well as salts.


  • uremic coma
  • Purulent meningitis
  • purulent encephalitis;
  • Thrombosis
  • DIC-Syndrome
  • irit;
  • hemorrhagic syndrome
  • lethal outcome.


You can protect yourself from infection by limiting contact with possible carriers of the disease — rodents, wild and farm animals. All existing preventive measures can be conditionally divided into 2 groups. The first includes measures that people themselves must take in order not to become infected. The second group includes activities, the responsibility for which lies on the organs of epidemiological control.

Basic rules of personal prevention:

  1. vaccination against leptospirosis. An effective preventive tool. The leptospirotic vaccine is administered / m and protects the person from infection for a long time;
  2. vaccination of animals. All domestic and farm animals must be vaccinated. It also introduces a leptospirotic vaccine;
  3. destroying rodents in the house
  4. refusal to swim in unverified places

  5. strict observance of precautionary rules during outdoor recreation