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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


CESPEDES Z, Manuel. Leptospirosis: Enfermedad Zoonótica Emergente. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2005, vol.22, n.4, pp.290-307. ISSN 1726-4634.

Leptospirosis is a public health problem all over the world, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas, as well as in developing countries. The high prevalence of this disease is attributed to weather and environmental conditions, but it also occurs because of contact with contaminated environments, particularly in relation to agricultural, farming, mining, recreational, and sport activities, as well as unhealthy conditions in households. Leptospirosis is a potentially lethal but treatable disease; its clinical spectrum goes from an asymptomatic disease or a condition with minimal symptoms resembling common cold, viral hepatitis, or classic dengue fever, to a severe disease with the same presentation as that of hemorrhagic viral fevers and meningitis. Since leptospirosis is frequent in tropical areas where other infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, its clinical manifestations tend to overlap with those of other conditions, and it is frequently misdiagnosed; however, recent studies have shown that leptospirosis is an important public health problem. New and easy-to-use diagnostic methods have been developed in recent years, so that the infection is now identified in the field without the need for sophisticated laboratory equipment. Since no vaccine is available, prevention depends upon appropriate sanitation measures. In this review we present information with respect to the causative microorganism, as well as considering epidemiology, reservoirs, transmission, pathophysiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and management of leptospirosis.

Keywords : Leptospira; Leptospirosis; Public Health; Review.

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