Location:Home / Journals / Article Detail

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research


PDF Download

Immunological and Molecular Diagnostic Techniques for Leptospirosis: An Update

Mahendra Pal1,*, Adugna Girma Lema2, Dagmawit Atalel3

1Narayan Consultancy on Veterinary Public Health and Microbiology, Anand, Gujarat, India.

2Yemalog Walal Woreda Livestock and Fishery Development and Resource Office, Kellem Wollega Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia.

3Department of Veterinary Laboratory Technology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ambo University, Ambo, Oromia, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author: Mahendra Pal

Date: May 10,2022 Hits: 2227


A number of laboratory techniques are employed to establish the diagnosis of microbial diseases that cause significant morbidity as well as mortality in humans and animals throughout the world. Leptospirosis is an emerging and re-emerging enigmatic zoonotic disease of public health and economic importance. Currently, over 600,000 human deaths are attributed due to leptosprirosis annually in the world. However, there is a lack of information on Leptospira strains in remote parts of the world. The diagnosis of leptospirosis is challenging due to non-specific clinical feature. Thus, laboratory tests are necessary to confirm the diagnosis of disease due to its varied symptomatology. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT), which determines agglutinating antibodies in sera for various serovars of Leptospira species is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) usually detects only the antibodies reacting with a broadly reactive genus specific antigen and thus gives no indication of the causative serovar or serogroup, which limits its application. Polymerase chain reaction on the other hand is considered sensitive and specific for the rapid detection of Leptospira in clinical samples. It is imperative to employ immunological and molecular techniques in order to make an unequivocal diagnosis of leptospirosis to institute immediate therapy to mitigate the suffering of the patients.


[1] Bourhy, P., Collet, L., Lernout, T., Zinini, F., Hartskeerl, R. A., Van Der Linden, H., and Picardeau, M. (2012). Human Lep-tospira isolates circulating in Mayotte (Indian Ocean) have unique serological and molecular features. Journal of Clinical Microbology, 307-311.

[2] WHO. (2003). Human Leptospirosis: Guidance for Diagnosis, Surveillance and Control. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2003. Available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2003/WHO_CDS_CSR_EPH_2002.23.PDF. Accessed 01 October, 2021.

[3] Courdurie, C., Govic, Y., Le, P., and P. I. (2017). Evaluation of different serological assays for early diagnosis of leptospirosis in Martinique (French West Indies). Journal of .Plos. Organization, 2, 1-14.

[4] Costa, F., Hagan, J. E., Calcagno, J., Kane, M., Torgerson, P., Martinez-Silveira, M. S., and Ko, A. I. (2015). Global morbidity and mortality of leptospirosis: A systematic review. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease, 9, 1-19.

[5] Ahmed, A., Grobusch, M. P., Klatser, P.R., and Hartskeerl, R. A. (2012). Molecular approaches in the detection and characterization of Leptospira. Journal of Bacteriology and Parasitology, 3, 2.

[6] Mcbride, A. J. A., Santos, B. L., Queiroz, A., Santos, A. C., Hartskeerl, R. A., Reis, M. G., and Ko, A. I. (2007). Evaluation of four whole-cell Leptospira based serological tests for diagnosis of urban Leptospirosis. Journal of Clinical and Vaccination Immunology, 14, 1245-1248.

[7] Mgode, G. F., Machang’u, R. S., Goris, M. G., Engelbert, M., Sondij, S., and Hartskeerl, R. A. (2006). New Leptospira serovar Sokoine of serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae from cattle in Tanzania. International Journal System Evolutionary Microbiology, 56, 593-597.

[8] Health, M. and Army, I. (2005). Laboratory diagnosis of leptospirosis. Journal Medicine, 51, 195-200.

[9] Ram, S., Vimalin, J. M., Jambulingam, M., Tiru, V., and Gopalakrishnan, R. K. (2012). Application of PCR-based DNA sequencing technique for the detection of Leptospira in peripheral blood of septicemia patients. Malayian Journal of Microbiology, 8, 26-33. 

[10] Ahmed, N., Manjulata, Devi, S., de los, Á., Valverde, M., Vijayachari, P., Machangu, R. S., Ellis, W. A., and Hartskeerl, R. A. (2006). Multilocus sequence typing method for identification and genotypic classification of pathogenic Leptospira species. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 5, 1-10.

[11] Levett, P. N. (2003). Usefulness of serologic analysis as a predictor of the infecting serovar in patients with severe leptospirosis. Journal of Clinical Infectious Disease, 36, 447-452.

[12] Al-orry, W., Arahou, M., Hassikou, R., and Mennane, Z. (2016). A review of laboratory diagnosis and treatment of leptospirosis. International Journal Pharmacology Science, 8, 7-13.

[13] Finger, M., Filho, L. R., and do, I. (2014). Serological and molecular survey of Leptospira spp. among cart horses from an endemic area of human leptospirosis in Curitiba, southern Brazil. Journal of Medical Tropics, 56, 473-476.

[14] Chappel, R. J., Goris. M., Palmer, M. F., and Hartskeerl, R. A. (2004). Impact of proficiency testing on results of the microscopic agglutination test for diagnosis of leptospirosis. Journal of Clinlinical Microbiology, 42, 5484-5488. 

[15] López, M. C., Vila, A., Rodón, J., and Roura, X. (2019). Leptospira seroprevalence in owned dogs from Spain. Journal of Heliyon, 5, 1-7. 

[16] Safiullah, S. A., Saleh, A. A., and Munwar, S. (2009). Laboratory methods for diagnosing leptospirosis : A Review. Bangadish Journal of Medical Microbiology, 3, 39-43.

[17] Mythri, B. A. (2015). Laboratory diagnosis of leptospirosis: A Review. Journal of Medical Dental Science, 4, 8759-8769.

[18] Naser, M., Mousavi, S., Sadeghi, J., and Aghazadeh, M. (2017). Current advances in urban leptospirosis diagnosis. Journal Medical Microbiology, 8, 119-123. 

[19] Levett, P. N. (2018). Leptospirosis review. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 14, 296-326.

[20] Roy, P., Venertary, T. N., and Jayakumar, V. (2016). Diagnosis of leptospiral mastitis in a cow by polymerase chain reaction diagnosis of leptospiral mastitis in a cow by polymerase chain reaction,Tamilnadu. Journal of Veterinary and Animal Science, 5, 75-76. 

[21] Techawiwattanaboon, T. and Patarakul, K. (2019). Update on molecular diagnosis of human leptospirosis. Journal Asian Biomedical, 13, 207-216. 

[22] Khaki, P. (2016). Clinical laboratory diagnosis of human leptospirosis. International Journal of Pathology, 4, 1-7. 

[23] Djelouadji, Z., Sup, V., and Lattard, V. (2017). Overview of laboratory methods to diagnose leptospirosis and to identify and to type leptospires. Journal of International Microbiology, 20, 184-193.

[24] Fornazari, F., Richini-Pereira, V. B., Joaquim, S. F., Pedro Gabriel Nachtigall, P. G., and Helio Langoni, H. (2021). Leptospirosis diagnosis among patients suspected of dengue fever in Brazil. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Disease, 27. 2021. https://doi/10.1590/1678-9-9199.

[25] Pérez, L. J., Lanka, S., De Shambo, V. J., Fredrickson, R. L., and Maddox, C. W. (2020). A validated multiplex real-time PCR assay for the diagnosis of infectious Leptospira spp.: A novel assay for the detection and differentiation of strains from both pathogenic groups I and II. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11: 457. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00457.

[26] Vijayachari, P., Sugunan, A. P., and Segal, S. C. (2002). Evaluation of Lepto Dri Dot as a rapid test for the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, 12, 61-62.

Full-Text HTML

Immunological and Molecular Diagnostic Techniques for Leptospirosis: An Update

How to cite this paper: Mahendra Pal, Adugna Girma Lema, Dagmawit Atalel. (2022) Immunological and Molecular Diagnostic Techniques for Leptospirosis: An UpdateInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research6(3), 216-221.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijcemr.2022.07.001