<i>Borrelia</i> and <i>Leptospira</i> Species

Julio C Mendez

in Mayo Clinic Infectious Diseases Board Review

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827626
Published online June 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199929641 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Borrelia and Leptospira Species

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Borrelia species (except Borrelia burgdorferi) cause relapsing fever, which is a zoonosis characterized by cyclic fevers alternating with periods of relative well-being. Endemic or tick-borne relapsing fever is caused by several Borrelia species associated with soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros. Tick-spirochete specificity is useful for identifying Borrelia species. Epidemic or louse-borne relapsing fever is caused by Borrelia recurrentis.

It is transmitted by the human body louse. Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of global distribution caused by infection with pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira.

It is greatly underreported, particularly in tropical regions. Leptospirosis is maintained in nature by chronic renal infection of carrier animals that excrete the organism in their urine and contaminate the environment. Human infection occurs after direct contact with infected urine or tissues. Specific conditions related to these infections, their management, and treatment are reviewed.

Chapter.  2387 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases

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