How to diagnose Leptospirosis

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Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Sep 23, 2014
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How can we Diagnose Leptospirosis?

Mild leptospirosis is difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to flu.

The clinician suspect leptospirosis only if the symptoms are very severe and if a patient complains of fever, jaundice, bleeding tendencies and severe muscle ache (predominantly calf muscles).

A diagnosis of leptospirosis can be confirmed by blood and urine tests to detect the presence of the leptospira bacteria in the blood or urine.

How can we Diagnose Leptospirosis?

Blood tests-

  • The white blood cell count is normal or slightly elevated, but when there is an involvement of liver it increases to 15,000 cells/units (Normal 4-11,000 cells/cubic mm)
  • The hemoglobin can be low in these patients as bleeding can lead to anemia.
  • MSAT (Macroscopic Slide Agglutination Test)
  • MAT (Microscopic Agglutination Test)
  • ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay).

If the individual has been treated with antibiotics these tests may not be very helpful and may be repeated 2 weeks later.

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paul123

We here in Thailand are being told there is no reason to panice about any water borne deseases in the current floods. We have thousands of tons of uncollected rubbish floating in the water animal and human waste. What can we do to minimise the risk of contacting leptospirosis cholera malaria etc. Is there som medicine we can take to lesson the risks. many thanks Paul

Need proper diagnostic set ups and patients must check up promptly and early for leptospirosis; or else leads to multi organ disorder to multiple organ failure
Dr. Prabhu Nagarajan, India Date: 04.02.2009

R.Lavanya

Whenever patients are coming with fever it is better that the doctor ask them to go for three tests namely MALARIA,WIDAL and LEPTOSPIROSIS.By doing this we can prevent the spreding of disease

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