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Identification and characterization of Serpulina pilosicoli isolates recovered from the blood of critically ill patients

Trott, D.J., Jensen, N.S., Saint Girons, I., Oxberry, S.L., Stanton, T.B., Lindquist, D. and Hampson, D.J. (1997) Identification and characterization of Serpulina pilosicoli isolates recovered from the blood of critically ill patients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 35 (2). pp. 482-485.

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    Abstract

    The phenotypic and genetic characteristics of spirochetes isolated from the blood of one U.S. and six French patients with severe clinical disease or impaired immunity were examined. All spirochetes were anaerobic, weakly beta-hemolytic, positive for hippurate hydrolysis, and negative for beta-glucosidase activity. Cell lengths ranged from 4 to 8 microm, and each isolate had between 8 and 12 periplasmic flagella per cell. These features were consistent with the spirochetes' being Serpulina pilosicoli, the agent of intestinal spirochetosis. All isolates were positive in a PCR assay amplifying a portion of the S. pilosicoli 16S rRNA gene, and they all grouped with fecal isolates of S. pilosicoli in multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE). The blood isolates could be differentiated from each other by MLEE, although the U.S. and two French isolates were closely related. Apparently S. pilosicoli may translocate from the large intestine to establish spirochetemia. The clinical significance of this finding remains uncertain and requires further investigation.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
    Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
    Copyright: © 1997, American Society for Microbiology
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/12127
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