What are the risks of leptospirosis during pregnancy?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant should avoid exposure to leptospirosis or may consider avoiding pregnancy during periods of high-risk exposure. While there are little data on congenital infection in humans, leptospirosis has been documented to cause spontaneous abortion and stillbirth during the first and second trimesters in over 60% of cases, probably in patients with more severe disease.33 Women who become ill during the last trimester of pregnancy and have had high-risk exposure should present promptly for treatment to prevent in utero infection. Newborns of ill mothers can also be treated. Leptospires may be shed in breastmilk for an unknown duration.


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