Harley, John P. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
Last reviewed:October 2015
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A bacterial disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira species. Leptospirosis is recognized as one of the world's new, emerging infectious diseases. In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has referred to leptospirosis as one of the “new, reemerging, or drug-resistant infections whose incidence in humans has increased within the past two decades or whose incidence threatens to increase in the near future.” Leptospirosis, presumed to be the most widespread zoonosis (a disease of animals that may be transmitted to humans) in the world, is characterized by a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, varying from a subclinical infection (showing no symptoms) to a fatal disease. See also: Disease; Zoonoses
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