What is leptospirosis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Leptospirosis is an infectious disease of humans and animals that is caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. It is considered the most common zoonosis in the world. [1] Leptospirosis is distributed worldwide (sparing the polar regions) but is most common in the tropics.

Leptospirosis has been recognized as a re-emerging infectious disease among animals and humans [2] and has the potential to become even more prevalent with advancing climate change and related trends. [3] By 2100, various climate models project that global temperatures will rise by 2°F to 11.5°F, depending on trends in future greenhouse gas emissions. [4]

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