Weil's disease in a young homeless man living in Lisbon

Torcato Moreira Marques, Paula Oliveira Nascimento, André Almeida, Valentina Tosatto

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution caused by infection with Leptospira genus bacteria, a pathogenic spirochaete. We present the case of a 29-year-old man admitted to our hospital with fever and multiorgan failure. He provided poor information about his symptoms. No recent travel or occupational history was reported and his clinical presentation did not suggest any infectious foci. His relatives later disclosed that he had been homeless for 3 weeks in the context of behavioural changes, obtaining foodstuff from waste containers and water from rain puddles. In the setting of this epidemiology, his presentation of fever, jaundice, acute renal injury and thrombocytopaenia suggested leptospirosis. Prompt empirical antimicrobial coverage was started, alongside organ support therapy. The diagnosis was later confirmed through microscopical and molecular methods. The patient made a full recovery. Leptospirosis should be considered early in the diagnostic work-up of any patient with acute febrile illness with multiorgan system involvement, with the identification of risk factors being essential to treat early in development of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2019233543
JournalBMJ case reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020


  • exposures
  • infections
  • infectious diseases
  • intensive care


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