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Battling Leptospira at the genome level

Battling Leptospira at the genome level 

To improve the odds of controlling Leptospirosis by understanding the genetic determinants of Leptospira pathogenesis that researchers at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the J. Craig Venter Institute have collaborated in a major genome-sequencing effort for 20 Leptospira species.
  • There are lessons for India. In the summer and rainy seasons of 2015, leptospirosis, a dangerous, neglected tropical disease, struck in multiple cities of India. In Mumbai, the toll was high — at least 18 people reportedly succumbed to the zoonotic disease, also known colloquially as “rat fever” for its association with the urine of rodents among several host species.
About Leptospirosis:
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which may be mistaken for other diseases. Some infected persons, however, may have no symptoms at all.
  • The bacteria that causes leptospirosis is spread in the urine of infected animals, including rodents, wildlife, dogs, and livestock.
  • It does not spread from person to person.
  • Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics. The disease can lead to life-threatening complications like renal failure, hypotension and hemorrage. Severe or untreated leptospirosis can lead to damage of the organs and in rare cases.
Sources: the hindu.

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