The pathogenesis of leptospirosis I. Hemorrhages in experimental leptospirosis in guinea pigs

Robert Higgins, G. Cousineau

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In experimental infections of guinea pigs with a virulent strain of Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae widespread hemorrhages were observed. Thrombocytopenia, prolongation of prothrombin, thrombin, partial thromboplastin and coagulation times, decrease of plasma fibrinogen, factor V, factor VIII and the presence of fibrinogen degradation products were demonstrated. Treatment of infected guinea pigs with heparin prolonged life for two to three days. The histological observations revealed that the main lesion is a severe injury of the vasculature, mainly arteries, arterioles and capillaries. Most of the endothelial cells are affected or destroyed and the muscular fibers of arteries and arterioles are injured. With Martius-Scarlet-Blue, Weigert or Picro-Mallory stains it was demonstrated that the organization seen in the vessels is not all made of fibrin. The conclusion reached was that the hemorrhages observed in experimental leptospirosis in guinea pigs are due to disseminated intravascular coagulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Comparative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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