Leptospires are spirochetal organisms that cause an important zoonosis with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations.

  • Rodents, particularly rats, are the most important reservoir, but leptospirosis affects almost all mammalian species. Transmission can occur during contact with urine, blood, or tissue from infected animals or, more commonly, during exposure to contaminated environments (e.g., during recreational water activities).
  • Globally, there are ∼1 million severe cases each year, with a mean case–fatality rate of ∼10%.

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