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Leptospira interrogans - Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Leptospira interrogans

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Leptospirosis, Weil's disease, Canicola fever, Hemorrhagic jaundice, Mud fever, Swineherd's disease

CHARACTERISTICS: Zoonotic bacterial disease with protean manifestations; spirochete; at least 218 serovars in 23 serogroups identified; serovars include hordjo, icterohaemorrhagiae, canicola, autumnalis, hebdomadis, australis, pomona

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Fever, headache, chills, severe malaise, vomiting, myalgia and conjunctival suffusion; occasionally meningitis, rash and uveitis; sometimes jaundice, renal insufficiency, anemia and hemorrhage of the skin; clinical illness lasts 3 days to few weeks, often biphasic; may have asymptomatic infection; low case fatality rate but increases with age. Major outbreaks in Nicaragua, India, Singapore, Thailand and Kazakhstan between 1995-1998

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide; in urban and rural, developed and primitive areas, except for polar regions; occupational hazard to rice and sugar cane field workers, farmers, vets, miners, animal husbandmen, laboratory workers handling infected rodents or dogs; outbreaks occur among those exposed to river/lake contaminated by urine of animals

HOST RANGE: Humans; domestic and wild animals (see Reservoir)

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Not known

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Contact of the skin or mucous membranes with contaminated water, soil or vegetation; direct contact with urine or tissues of infected animals; occasionally through ingestion of contaminated food or by inhalation of droplet aerosols of contaminated fluids

INCUBATION PERIOD: Usually 10 days with a range of 4-19 days

COMMUNICABILITY: Direct transmission from person to person is rare; leptospires may be excreted in urine for usually 1 month but has been observed as long as 11 months after the acute illness

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Farm and pet animals, including cattle, dogs, horses and swine; rats and other rodents act as the normal carrier host; wild animals, including deer, squirrels, foxes, skunks and even reptiles and amphibians may be infected; in Europe, field mice, voles, Shrews and hedgehogs are common reservoirs; in carrier animals, an asymptomatic infection occurs

ZOONOSIS: Yes - direct and indirect contact with urine, abortion products, and materials contaminated with urine from infected animals

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sensitive in vitro to penicillin, streptomycin, erythromycin and tetracyclines; doxycycline of value for treatment of human disease when given within 4 days of onset

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Sensitive to moist heat (121° C for at least 15 min)

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Soil contaminated with infected urine - many weeks; in water passed through infected soil - up to 19 days; surface water of lakes up to 10 days depending on salinity; sludge - 5 days; urine of infected rats stored at room temperature - 5 but not 24 hours

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms of illness; confirm serologically; isolation of leptospires from blood, CSF or urine

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Doxycycline treatment within 4 days of onset, combination of amoxycillin and erythromycin can be effective; resistant to penicillin prophylaxis

IMMUNIZATION: Vaccines are not commercially available for use in humans, however, immunization of man has been carried out against occupational exposures to specific serovars in Japan, China, Spain, Israel and Italy

PROPHYLAXIS: Doxycycline administered orally during periods of high exposure may prevent disease

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Well documented laboratory hazard with 67 reported cases and 10 deaths up to 1976; an experimentally infected rabbit was identified as a source of infection of L. interrogans serovar icterohemorrhagiae

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: From blood (first 7 days), or CSF (days 4-10) during acute illness or urine after day 10; IF and ELISA detection of leptospires in clinical specimens

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Ingestion, accidental parenteral inoculation, and direct contact of skin or mucous membranes with cultures or infected tissues or body fluids (especially urine); inhalation of aerosols of contaminated fluids

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Direct and indirect contact with fluids and tissues of infected mammals during handling, care, or necropsy is a source of infection; in animals with chronic kidney infections, the agent is shed in urine in enormous numbers for long periods of time

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices, containment and facilities for activities involving the manipulation of known or potentially infectious tissues, body fluids and the housing of infected animals (for all serovars)

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves for the handling and necropsy of infected animals and when there is the likelihood of direct skin contact with infectious materials

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: None

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with an absorbent material (paper towel) and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal; steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: March, 2001

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright ©
Health Canada, 2001