Bug Report My bug was the Leptospira interrogans which causes Leptospirosis. Some of the common names of this bug are Weil's Disease, Mud Fever, Fort Bragg fever, and Swamp Fever. This particular bug will manifest in the kidney and in the liver. It can in its most severe form cause kidney failure, heart failure, and shock.
This bacteria, L. interrogans, multiplies inside of the organs, generally it is in the kidney, liver, CNS. L. interrogans is normally a zoonosis, and is found commonly in dogs, cattle, and swine. It is generally transmitted through contact of the infected urine. Since the L.
interrogans is shed in the urine, it is easy for cattle pens, water supplies, and etc. to be easily contaminated. Many times Leptospirosis is caused from contaminated water, semen from bulls, and contaminated feed. The shape of the L.
interrogans is a spiral one. It is flexible with hooked ends that make it look very similar to a question mark. It also has internal flagella. The size is around 5 um. The gram stain reaction of L. interrogans is gram negative.
To stain this bacteria you must use a relatively new staining technique termed immunofluorescence which uses a ultraviolet light to identify its staining. You can also use an older technique that is very time consuming, which is silver staining. There are only a few diseases caused by L. interrogans. These are Weil's Disease, a severe form of leptospirosis.
And of course there is Leptospirosis. These are diseases in which kidney and liver failure is very common. Both can cause jaundice, and cardiovascular collapse. Both have symptoms like the flu. They can cause fever, chill, severe headache, and meningitis in humans. L.
interrogans enter the human body through broken skin and mucosa. It is generally found in excreted urine from those infected animals. This bacteria is in no way apart of the human bodies norma flora. It is a foreign substance that is opportunistic, but not related to the "normal" flora. L. interrogans can not grow in temperatures exceeding 36 degrees Celsius.
If it is frozen or dried it quickly kills the bacteria. However it can grow up to six months in moist and warm conditions, such as swamps and etc. L. interrogans is not used for any genetic engineering, in my resources. However it does kill cattle, and can cause abortions in cattle. This bacteria generally has no human reservoir.
However, this being a Zoonosis, it has several animal reservoirs. These include cattle, swine, dogs, and rats. Infected swine have known to pass this organism for up to 2 years in their urine. The portal of exit from the human body is like that of the animals. It is passed in the urine of humans, since it infects the kidneys and liver, this is only natural. L.
interrogans is not involved in any nosocomial infections. It is rarely ever transmitted from human to human, and the only way it could be transmitted is if a puddle of urine is left around. But in my resources I found no cases of nosocomial infections. The mechanism of tissue damage by L. interrogans is unknown. Host resistance is responsible by serum antibodies.
L. interrogans is cleared in the human body by the blood and most tissue allow it to clear also. There are several antibiotics that are effective against L. interrogans and Leptospirosis. These are penicillin G, streptomycin, tetracycline, and doxycycline. Most of the drugs are intracellular in their mechanism of action.
Some other important facts are: there is no human vaccine avaliable. The disease is self-limiting. Its incubation period is one to two weeks. During this period it is often hard to differentiate Leptospirosis from the flu. Many of the symptoms are similar. There are about 50 cases per year of Leptospirosis.
And it is an obligate anaerobe. As far as control of this bacteria goes, animal vaccines are avaliable and eradication of rodents is essential. Alberta Canada has legislation to ensure vaccination of animals so there will not be an outbreak of this bacteria. Also low lying areas such as swamps should be drained to kill the organism. Johnson, Russell C. Med micro Chapter 35: Leptospira web Kremlin, Cornelia Leptospirosis in Farm Animals web Spira, Alan M.
D. DTM&H Leptospirosis web Tortola, Funke, Case. Microbiology: An Introduction 6 th edition Addison-Wesley, New York. P. 298, 695, 696.