A Mountain out of a Molehill: Do We Treat Acute Leptospirosis, and If So, with What?

Vinetz, Joseph M.
June 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;6/15/2003, Vol. 36 Issue 12, p1514
Academic Journal
The leptospirosis field tends to lag behind other areas of infectious diseases, not least because diagnosing this disease is difficult and requires specialized, not readily available laboratory methods. A lingering issue is the optimal treatment of acute leptospirosis, particularly with regard to whether antimicrobial treatment should be used. At the Third Triennial Meeting of the International Leptospirosis Society (October 2002), data were presented to support the efficacy of beta lactam antibiotics (penicillin or ampi-cillin) for the treatment of severe leptospirosis in urban slum dwellers in Salvador, Brazil. In most other parts of the world, including Barbados, where previous studies of treatment of severe leptospirosis with penicillin had not revealed significant benefit, the consensus was that no physician would withhold antimicrobial treatment for laboratory-diagnosed, or even clinically suspected, leptospirosis, whether mild or severe.


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