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Category Press Release
Publish Date 7/20/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Environmental Testing Resources to Help Prevent New Cases of Leptospirosis in California
Introduction LA Testing’s network of laboratories offers rapid qPCR testing services for Leptospira to provide for the identification of this microbial pathogen from environmental samples.

Huntington Beach, CA, July 20, 2023

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals and can cause a wide range of symptoms, or none at all. Without treatment, leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress and even death.

The disease is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected animals, including rats. It can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Humans can become infected through:

  • Contact with urine (or other body fluids, except saliva) from infected animals.
  • Contact with water, soil or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals. 

Fortunately, human cases of leptospirosis are not too common in California, but cases do occur and it’s not just humans at risk. Several years ago, there were outbreaks of leptospirosis in dogs throughout Southern California resulting in health advisories being issued by state agencies.

“Leptospirosis has also been associated with swimming, wading, kayaking and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Workers that could be at risk of exposure to Leptospira include those who work outdoors or with animals. Farmers, veterinarians and animal caretakers, miners, and workers involved with sewers or fish all made the CDC’s list.”

Helping to prevent new cases of leptospirosis, or to identify the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred, are the environmental professionals at LA Testing. Their network of laboratories provides rapid environmental testing services for Leptospira utilizing highly sensitive qPCR techniques. A few years back, LA Testing even sponsored an educational video about leptospirosis and various occupational and environmental exposure risks to Leptospira. The video can still be seen at: 

To learn more about testing for Leptospira or other environmental, health and safety testing resources, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for environmental and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, bacteria, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.

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