IN THE LAST 10 YEARS widespread occurrence of human leptospirosis in the United States has been documented. Before that time, clinical interest in and recognition of this pathogenic spirochete had been limited to sporadically reported cases of Weil's syndrome. In 1951, Schaeffer reported the first epidemic leptospiral outbreak in this country, and in the same year sporadic cases of anicteric leptospirosis were reported by Beeson and associates, Coffey and coworkers and Lerner and Lindsey.
In 1952, Gochenour and associates identified Leptospira autumnalis as the etiologic agent in pretibial fever which was described in 1943 by Daniels and Grennan. The latter authors recognized the similarity of their patients to those reported by Bowdoin in Georgia in 1942, and antibodies to Lept. pomona were later demonstrated in the serums from some of Bowdoin's patients. Since then, 3 outbreaks have been identified in Georgia, one in Wyoming, and one in North Dakota.
Coggins WJ. Leptospirosis Due to Leptospira pomona: An Outbreak of Nine Cases. JAMA. 1962;181(12):1077–1078. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050380055017b
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