Foley Laboratory in Infectious Disease Ecology

Clinical Leptospirosis

Infection occurs most often by exposure to leptospires from contaminated mud or water.  Leptospires can enter the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes, as well as through scrapes and cuts.  Once leptospires have entered the body they travel and replicate in the blood and move quickly into the kidney and liver.  They can do significant damage to these organs in particular, and are eventually shed in the urine.


•    Fever

•    Lethargy

•    Depression

•    Vomiting

•    Loss of Appetite

•    Conjunctival hyperemia and uveitis (eye inflammation)

•    Increased thirst and urination

•    Kidney failure

•    Elevated liver enzymes

•    Meningitis

•    Anemia

•    Jaundice

•    Pulmonary hemorrhage

•    Abortion

•    Death