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Causes of Leptospirosis

Primary Cause of Leptospirosis

The primary cause of Leptospirosis is the result:

  • of an infectious agent.

Leptospirosis Causes: Risk Factors

The following conditions have been cited in various sources as potentially causal risk factors related to Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis: Geographical Location Profile

Geographical Profile for Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis occurs worldwide but is most common in temperate or tropical climates. (Source: excerpt from Leptospirosis (General): DBMD) ...more »

Leptospirosis: Related Medical Conditions

To research the causes of Leptospirosis, consider researching the causes of these these diseases that may be similar, or associated with Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis: Causes and Types

Causes of Types of Leptospirosis: Review the cause informationfor the various types of Leptospirosis:

Causes of Broader Categories of Leptospirosis: Review the causal information about the various more general categories of medical conditions:

What causes Leptospirosis?

Causes: Leptospirosis: Bacteria often caught indirectly from animal urine.
Occurs through direct or indirect transmission from a mammalian host. Indirect transmission via contact with Leptospira contaminated water or soil, is thought to be responsible for most cases. (Source: excerpt from Leptospirosis: DBMD)
Article excerpts about the causes of Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis (General): DBMD (Excerpt)

Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person. (Source: excerpt from Leptospirosis (General): DBMD)

Leptospirosis and Your Pet: DBMD (Excerpt)

The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Humans and animals can become infected through contact with this contaminated urine (or other body fluids, except saliva), water, or soil. The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection. Infected wild and domestic animals may continue to excrete the bacteria into the environment continuously or every once in a while for a few months up to several years.

If your pet has become infected, it most likely came into contact with leptospires in the environment or infected animals. Your pet may have been drinking, swimming, or walking through contaminated water. Because of increased building and development into areas that were previously rural, pets may be exposed to more wildlife, such as raccoons, skunks, squirrels, opossums, or deer that are infected with leptospirosis. Dogs also may pass the disease to each other, but this happens very rarely. (Source: excerpt from Leptospirosis and Your Pet: DBMD)

Leptospirosis: DBMD (Excerpt)

Leptospires are long, thin motile spirochetes. They may be free-living or associated with animal hosts and survive well in fresh water, soil, and mud in tropical areas. These organisms are antigenically complex, with over 200 known pathogenic serologic variants. Molecular taxonomic studies at CDC and elsewhere have identified 13 named and 4 unnamed species of pathogenic leptospires. Although certain geographic regions contain specific leptospiral serovars and species, the serologic characterization of an isolate is not an absolute predictor of its species designation. (Source: excerpt from Leptospirosis: DBMD)

Related information on causes of Leptospirosis:

As with all medical conditions, there may be many causal factors. Further relevant information on causes of Leptospirosis may be found in:


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