Foley Laboratory in Infectious Disease Ecology

Photo: Leptospira
Leptospira interrogans strain RGA, courtesy


Our lab can help with suspect Lepto cases. To submit samples- click here

To talk to a veterinarian or our laboratory technician regarding testing needs, please call (530)754-9740 or contact us by email to

Drs. Janet Foley, Jane Sykes, Emir Hodzic, or Mary Straub can help with lepto concerns. Ms. Joy Worth will assist with diagnosis.

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis (“Lepto”) is a zoonotic infectious disease that is a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world.  Many species of mammals, including humans, dogs and horses can be infected by leptospires and the bacteria can be transmitted between animals and people. Despite its seriousness and transmissibility it is often overlooked or misdiagnosed.  Leptospires are bacteria that are shed in the urine of infected animals and can live in fresh water or mud for an extended period of time. Infection by pathogenic leptospires can lead to kidney failure, liver damage, and death.  Early diagnosis is critical because if caught early leptospirosis is treatable by administration of antibiotics.

Our laboratory

We have complete diagnostic capability with dedicated staff, capacity for testing for antibodies, DNA, or live bacteria. Our work with this potentially dangerous bacteria is done in a separate room under a hood to contain the samples and we can provide results and support within a few days of receiving samples.