The classic description of infectious jaundice was presented by Weil1 in 1886, who reported 4 cases in which there was a sudden onset of fever, chills, prostration, jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly, hemorrhagic tendency and renal failure. All 4 patients recovered. Inada and his associates2 discovered the causative agent, and Noguchi3 named it Leptospira icterohemorrhagiae. Stimson4 described a spirochete in the organs of a patient in New Orleans who died presumably of yellow fever and called it Spirochaeta interrogans. Wadsworth5 introduced laboratory methods for the diagnosis of Weil's disease in the United States. Jeghers,6 Packchanian,7 Larson8 and others have reported numerous cases from this country.
Spirochetal jaundice is not a proper term, because jaundice is present only in about two thirds of the cases. Weil's disease refers to infection with Leptospira icterohemorrhagiae. Leptospira canicola infections occur in man and dog. In this country canine leptospirosis