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April 1959

Leptospiral Uveitis

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Eye Service of The Mount Sinai Hospital.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;61(4):633-640. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.00940090635020

The occurrence of uveitis as a complication of systemic Leptospirosis was reported in Weil's1 original article describing the disease in 1886. The etiologic agent of Weil's disease is ordinarily the Leptospira icterohemorrhagiae, a spirochete found commonly in rats and less frequently in dogs, mice, cats, and other animals. Human infection generally stems from contact with stagnant waters contaminated by murine excreta, the portal of entry usually being the abraded skin, although infection may occur by way of the gastrointestinal tract, the nasal mucosa, or the conjunctiva. The disease is especially prevalent in those working in rat-infested environments: sewer workers, fish and poultry handlers, miners, butchers, tunnel diggers, and others. Systemically, the disease is characterized by sudden onset, with headaches, fever, prostration, and myalgia. In the more severe cases, jaundice occurs and hemorrhagic phenomena and evidences of renal impairment are present. Hanno and Cleveland2 reported, in 1949, 222 documented

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