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June 1959

Leptospiral Meningitis

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

From the Department of Medicine, The Ohio State University.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(6):876-885. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270060028005

In recent years there has been an increasing interest and awareness of the global significance of leptospiral infections. This subject was discussed in considerable detail in a Walter Reed Army Medical Center Symposium.1

The increasing incidence of leptospirosis in the United States, as recently reviewed,2 is due more likely to a higher index of suspicion and improved diagnostic methods but undoubtedly represents only a fraction of the true prevalence of the disease.

The protean clinical features of human leptospirosis mimic a variety of diseases, covering a broad spectrum from mild flu-like signs to severe fulminant hepatic disease.3

Although meningeal involvement has been emphasized in previous reports,3-13 aseptic meningitides caused by Leptospira are undoubtedly frequently not specifically diagnosed or suspected. This is particularly true when there is no associated icterus.

This report is concerned with 10 cases of leptospiral meningitis, diagnosed at University Hospital between 1954 and 1958. Only one of

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