Leptospirosis - Facts from the Encyclopedia - Yahoo! Education
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Encyclopedia: leptospirosis

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Columbia University Press
 (lĕp´´tsymbolspīrō´sĭs) , febrile disease caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospirae. The disease occurs in dogs, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and horses and is transmissible to humans. It is most common where the climate is warm and humid, soils are alkaline, and there is abundant surface water. The source of infection in farm animals is usually through pastures, drinking water, or feed, when contaminated by infected urine, and is often a work-related risk for farmers, sewer, or abattoir workers. Infection may also occur as a result of contact with infected uterine discharges and aborted fetuses. In cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats, the disease is characterized by fever, depression, anemia, and abortion. Horses develop an ocular infection. In dogs the disease causes a severe kidney infection. Control of leptospirosis depends on the elimination of carrier animals, appropriate hygienic measures, and vaccination of susceptible animals.