Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence
Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species.
Keywords: Leptospirosis, Molecular techniques, Pathogenesis, Virulence