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Leptospiral Infection, Pathogenesis and Its Diagnosis—A Review

  • Samrot, Antony V.
  • Sean, Tan Chuan
  • Bhavya, Karanam Sai1
  • Sahithya, Chamarthy Sai1
  • Chan-drasekaran, SaiPriya1
  • Palanisamy, Raji1
  • Robinson, Emilin Renitta
  • Subbiah, Suresh Kumar2, 3
  • Mok, Pooi Ling2, 3, 4, 5
  • 1 (R.P.)
  • 2 Department of Biotechnology, Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER), Selaiyur, Tamil Nadu 600 073, India
  • 3 Genetics and Regenerative Medicine Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
  • 4 Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia
  • 5 Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Jouf University, Sakaka P.O. Box 2014, Aljouf Province, Saudi Arabia
Published Article
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/pathogens10020145
PMID: 33535649
PMCID: PMC7912936
PubMed Central


Leptospirosis is a perplexing conundrum for many. In the existing literature, the pathophysiological mechanisms pertaining to leptospirosis is still not understood in full. Considered as a neglected tropical zoonotic disease, leptospirosis is culminating as a serious problem worldwide, seemingly existing as co-infections with various other unrelated diseases, including dengue and malaria. Misdiagnosis is also common as non-specific symptoms are documented extensively in the literature. This can easily lead to death, as the severe form of leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) manifests as a complex of systemic complications, especially renal failure. The virulence of Leptospira sp. is usually attributed to the outer membrane proteins, including LipL32. With an armament of virulence factors at their disposal, their ability to easily adhere, invade and replicate within cells calls for a swift refinement in research progress to establish their exact pathophysiological framework. As an effort to reconstitute the current knowledge on leptospirosis, the basis of leptospiral infection, including its risk factors, classification, morphology, transmission, pathogenesis, co-infections and clinical manifestations are highlighted in this review. The various diagnostic techniques are also outlined with emphasis on their respective pros and cons.

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