Unusual in vitro formation of cyst-like structures associated with human intestinal spirochaetosis

  • J. -O. Gebbers
  • H. -P. Marder

DOI: 10.1007/BF01963456

Cite this article as:
Gebbers, J.O. & Marder, H.P. Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. (1989) 8: 302. doi:10.1007/BF01963456


Spirochaetes were isolated from rectal biopsies of three patients and successfully cultured. Enzymatic reactions and electron microscopy revealed spirochaetes resemblingBrachyspira aalborgi. Examination of ultrathin sections of centrifugates of cultured spirochaetes yielded unusual cyst-like structures with an outer double membrane containing spirochaetes in different developmental stages. The protoplasmic cylinders seemed to originate from a large electrondense focus in the cyst-like structures. The axial fibrils occurred as loosely distributed solitary structures in the cyst-like structures. Cysts were not found in the biopsy tissue. The encystment of the spirochaetes could be related to their protection, multiplication, spread and transmission.

Copyright information

© Priedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. -O. Gebbers
    • 1
  • H. -P. Marder
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyKantonsspital LucerneLucerne 16Switzerland
  2. 2.Institute of MicrobiologyKantonsspital LucerneLucerne 16Switzerland

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