Leptospirosis

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP

    Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.

What specialists treat leptospirosis?

Clinic doctors, primary-care doctors, pediatricians, and emergency-medicine specialists often treat leptospirosis in countries where it is endemic and the patients are in the first phase of the disease. Other specialists are often consulted if the patient begins to enter the second phase of the disease. These specialists may include critical-care, infectious-disease, hospitalists, internists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, and kidney specialists.

How do physicians diagnose leptospirosis?

Physicians make a presumptive diagnosis based on the patient's history and physical exam. Only specialized labs perform serological tests for leptospirosis. Health-care professionals may perform definitive tests by isolating the bacteria from the patient (blood or CSF) or by a positive microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Other tests (ELISA, PCR, urine dipsticks) may provide additional evidence of infection. Patients with severe symptoms should be treated as confirmatory tests are time consuming.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/12/2016

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