Main topic :
Leptospirosis: an update on a neglected and worldwide emerging zoonosis
PICARDEAU M. 1
1 Institut Pasteur, Biology Of Spirochetes Unit, National Reference Center For Leptospirosis, Paris, France, Paris, France
It is estimated that one million patients suffer severe leptospirosis each year with nearly 60,000 deaths, leading to a high disease burden in tropical countries and important economic losses in the livestock sector. Leptospirosis is a zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira that is transmitted to humans through exposures of soil or water contaminated with the urine of an infected animal.
Leptospirosis is a complex disease with multiple modes of transmission, broad host range, a multitude of infecting serovars, nonspecific clinical manifestation and difficult diagnosis. Leptospirosis is also considered as an emerging zoonosis due to (i) global climate changes resulting in more frequent and severe flooding and (ii) the growing population residing in urban slums.
In this seminar, I will provide an update on the analyses available for the diagnosis of leptospirosis and on its epidemiology as well as the many gaps in leptospirosis knowledge. I will also briefly describe the activities of our unit which covers both fundamental research on the agent of leptospirosis and public health activities within the French National Reference Center for Leptospirosis.