Infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Vinetz and colleagues have discovered a new species of bacteria that may be a major cause of a potentially fatal tropical disease.

The disease, leptospirosis, is transmitted from animals to humans. Severe forms of leptospirosis have high fatality rates.

Joseph Vinetz, M.D., is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. In the study, he collaborated with researchers at other North American centers and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru.

The study was published in the April 1 issue of Neglected Tropical Diseases:

Matthias MA, Ricaldi JN, Cespedes M, … and Vinetz, JM. Human Leptospirosis Caused by a New, Antigenically Unique Leptospira Associated with a Rattus Species Reservoir in the Peruvian Amazon. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008 April; 2(4): e213. Published online 2008 April 2. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000213. Read the report

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