Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonosis that is common worldwide, especially in developing countries. Organisms are shed in the urine of infected animals, including rodents and domesticated animals, which may not show signs of disease. Humans usually become ill after contact with infected urine, or through contact with water, soil or food that has been contaminated. Outbreaks have been associated with floodwaters. In animals, the clinical signs of leptospirosis are often related to kidney disease, liver disease or reproductive dysfunction. In humans, many cases are mild or asymptomatic, and go unrecognized. In some patients, however, the illness may progress to kidney or liver failure, aseptic meningitis, life-threatening pulmonary hemorrhage and other syndromes.
Iowa State University
Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health, "Leptospirosis" (2013). Center for Food Security and Public Health Technical Factsheets. 81.