Diagnosis is often based on clinical signs and history (environment and lack
of vaccine), supported by haematology (leucocytosis, thrombocytopenia) and blood
biochemistry (urea and creatinine levels raised, elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin).
Serology is expensive and can be difficult to interpret.
Isolation from urine and blood is difficult as leptospires do not survive long
and need special transport media. The organism can also sometimes be seen in
urine by dark-ground microscopy.
Leptospires can also be detected by immunofluorescence in liver or kidney sections
snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen then sent frozen to the laboratory.
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