ISSN 2398-2942      

Leptospira spp

icanis

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Classically, the genus Leptospira was divided into 2 species based on genetic analysis: L. interrogans sensu latu (pathogenic strains) and L. biflexa sensu latu (saprophytic strains).
  • L. interrogans is divided into more than 250 serovars on the basis of antigenic composition and further classified into antigenically related serogroups.
  • Serovar spectrum and frequency differs according to countries and regions (depending on distribution of rodent hosts, import of dogs from abroad, use of vaccination).
  • The main infecting serovars in dogs were Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola in Europe and America prior to 1960. Since the use of the bivalent vaccine against Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae, a shift to other serovars occurred.
  • Besides L. Icterohaemorrhagiae and L. Canicola, Serovars of importance in dogs include: GrippotyphosaBratislavaSaxkoebingSejroeCopenhagiAustralisBataviae, and PomonaAutumnalis, and Hardjo.
  • Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola infections in unvaccinated dogs still occur, indicating that these serovars are not fully eradicated.
  • Leptospires are motile, obligate aerobe, gram-negative bacteria, which are not visible in routinely fixed smears.
  • Dark field microscopy or phase contrast microscopy is necessary for visibility of unstained leptospires.

Etymology

  • Gk: lepto - thin, narrow; spira - a coil; leptospira - a fine coil.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Leptospires have been isolated from birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
  • Rodents and wild carnivores are the most frequent carriers.
  • Reservoir hosts show few or no signs of disease.
  • Leptospira spp. are commonly sequestered in the renal tubules of mammalian kidneys.
  • Different serovars typically have different reservoir hosts.

Lifecycle

  • Generation time in culture media or host is long.

Transmission

  • Direct or indirect transmissions are possible.
  • Indirect transmission through contaminated water or soil is more common.

Pathological effects

  • Infection occurs through ingestion of infected rodents or penetration of mucosae or traumatized skin. Leptospiremia occurs within 1 week. Leptospires spread to other organ systems (kidneys, liver, spleen, endothelial cells, lungs, uvea/retina, skeletal and heart muscles, pancreas, and genital tract) and cause tissue damage, visceral and vascular inflammation.
  • Leptospiral pulmonary hemorrhage syndrome (LPHS) Lung: pulmonary hemorrhage can occur as severe manifestation of acute leptospirosis Leptospirosis.
  • Leptospires can persist in immune privileged site (eg, renal tubes, eye).
  • In the presence of adequate antibody titers, leptospires are eliminated from most organs. In the presence of low antibody titers mild leptospiremia can continue with a subclinical course of disease.

Other Host Effects

  • Individual host may show little or no clinical signs but may be source of infection in the same animal species.
  • An animal that has recovered may become a long-term shedder of the organism.
  • Mainly dogs show disease; rodents often the reservoir.
  • Cat disease is uncommon but serology shows that asymptomatic infection occurs.
  • Individual host can show little or no clinical signs but can be source of infection to other animals or humans.
  • An animal that has recovered can become a long-term shedder of the organism.
  • Rodents are often the reservoir.
  • Dogs commonly succumb to disease if infected.
  • In cats, disease is uncommon but asymptomatic infection and shedding in urine occurs.

Control

Control via animal

Antimicrobial therapy

  • Dogs with gastrointestinal signs should initially be treated with intravenous penicillin derivates (eg, ampicillin Ampicillin or amoxicillin Amoxicillin 20-30 mg/kg q6-8h). These should be continued until gastrointestinal signs are under control and liver enzymes are normalized. A directly following antimicrobial therapy with 3 weeks of oral doxycycline Doxycycline (5 mg/kg q12h) is necessary for prevention of carrier states.
  • Dogs without gastrointestinal signs should immediately be treated with doxycycline.
  • Antibody testing of dogs living in the same household as infected dogs is recommended. Oral doxycycline 5 mg/kg q12h for 3 weeks) should be administered, if these dogs have antibodies.

Symptomatic treatment

  • Treatment of dogs with gastrointestinal sings includes antiemetics, gastroprotectants, and nutritional support.
  • Use of opioids in dogs with pain can be necessary.
  • Treatment of dogs with acute kidney injury Kidney: acute kidney injury (AKI) includes correction of loss of fluid, electrolytes, acid-base imbalances and hypertension, and if necessary hemodialysis for patients with persistent oligoanuria, life-threatening hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia , or severe volume overload.
  • Oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation can be necessary in dogs with LPHS.
  • Plasma transfusions can be necessary for patients with DIC Disseminated intravascular coagulation.
  • Whole blood transfusion Blood: transfusion can be helpful, if bleeding occurs.

Hemodialysis

  • Hemodialysis is necessary in dogs with acute renal failure (life-threatening hyperkalemia or severe volume overload) and in dogs with advanced uremia refractory to medical management.
  • Early referral to facilities where hemodialysis is available is recommended.
  • Renal recovery usually occurs after 2-7 days of dialytic support.
  • Hemodialysis leads to favorable prognosis for renal recovery (in more than 80% of dogs).

Mechanical ventilation

Vaccination

  • Vaccination protects against clinical disease and carrier status with shedding.
  • Protection is serogroup-specific and temporary.
  • Annual boosters are required.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Fraune C K, Schweighauser A & Francey T (2013) Evaluation of the diagnostic value of serologic microagglutination testing and a polymerase chain reaction assay for diagnosis of acute leptospirosis in dogs in a referral center. J Am Vet Med Assoc 242 (10), 1373-1380 PubMed.
  • Hartmann K, Egberink H, Pennisi M G et al (2013) Leptospira species infection in cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 15 (7), 576-581 PubMed.
  • Abdoel T H, Houwers D J, van Dongen A M et al (2011) Rapid test for the serodiagnosis of acute canine leptospirosis. Vet Microbiol 150 (1-2), 211-213 PubMed.
  • Sykes J E, Hartmann K, Lunn K F et al (2011) 2010 ACVIM small animal consensus statement on leptospirosis: diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention. J Vet Intern Med 25 (1), 1-13 PubMed.
  • Kohn B, Steinicke K, Arndt G et al (2010) Pulmonary abnormalities in dogs with leptospirosis. J Vet Intern Med 24 (6), 1277-1282 PubMed.
  • Burr P, Lunn K, Yam P (2009) Current perspectives on canine leptospirosis. In Practice 31 (3), 98-102 VetMedResource.
  • Geisen V, Stengel C, Brem S et al (2007) Canine leptospirosis infections - clinical signs and outcome with different suspected Leptospira serogroups (42 cases). J Small Anim Pract 48 (6), 324-328 PubMed.
  • Ghneim G S, Viers J H, Chomel B B et al (2007) Use of a case-control study and geographic information systems to determine environmental and demographic risk factors for canine leptospirosis. Vet Res 38 (1), 37-50 PubMed.
  • André-Fontaine G (2006) Canine leptospirosis--do we have a problem? Vet Microbiol 117 (1), 19-24 PubMed.
  • Goldstein R E, Lin R C, Langston C E et al (2006) Influence of infecting serogroup on clinical features of leptospirosis in dogs. J Vet Intern Med 20 (3), 489-494 PubMed.
  • Meeyam T, Tablerk P, Petchanok B et al (2006) Seroprevalence and risk factors associated with leptospirosis in dogs. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 37 (1), 148-153 PubMed.
  • Moore G E, Guptill L F, Glickman L W et al (2006) Canine leptospirosis, United States, 2002-2004. Emerg Infect Dise 12 (3), 501-503 PubMed.
  • Ward M P, Guptill L F & Wu C C (2004) Evaluation of environmental risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs: 36 cases (1997-2002). JAVMA 225 (1), 72-77 PubMed.
  • Boutilier P, Carr A & Schulman R L (2003) Leptospirosis in dogs: a serologic survey and case series 1996-2001. Vet Ther (4), 387-396 PubMed.
  • Burriel A R, Dalley C, Woodward M J (2003) Prevalence of leptospira species among farmed and domestic animals in Greece. Vet Rec 153 (5), 146-148 PubMed.
  • Ebani V V, Cerri D, Poli A et al (2003) Prevalence of Leptospira and Brucella antibodies in wild boars (Sus scrofa) in Tuscany, Italy. J Wildl Dis 39 (3), 718-722 PubMed.
  • Harkin K R, Roshto Y M & Sullivan J T (2003) Clinical application of a polymerase chain reaction assay for diagnosis for leptospirosis in dogs. JAVMA 222 (9), 1224-1229 PubMed.
  • Adin C A & Cowgill L D (2000) Treatment and outcome of dogs with leptospirosis - 36 cases (1990-1998). JAVMA 216 (3), 371-375 PubMed.
  • Steger-Lieb A, Gerber B, Nicolet J et al (1999) [An old disease with a new face: canine leptospirosis does not lose its relevance]. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 141 (11), 499-507 PubMed.
  • Brown C A, Roberts A W, Miller M A et al (1996) Leptospira interrogans serovar grippotyphosa infection in dogs. JAVMA 209 (7), 1265-1267 PubMed.
  • Harkin K R & Gartrell C L (1996) Canine leptospirosis in New Jersey and Michigan - 17 cases (1990-1995). JAAHA 32 (6), 495-501 PubMed.
  • Anderson J F, Miller D A, Post J E et al (1993) Isolation of Leptospira interrogans serovar grippotyphosa from the skin of a dog. JAVMA 203 (11), 1550-1551 PubMed.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code