The Genus Leptospira

  • Ben Adler
  • Solly Faine


Members of the genus Leptospira are helicoidal bacteria that may exist as free-living saprophytes or in association with a diverse range of animal hosts. They either are the cause of acute leptospirosis or are associated with particular host tissues (especially the renal proximal tubules) on a long-term basis (possibly for the life of the animal). Two additional species, L. parva and L. illini, which were previously included in the genus, have been reclassified as the separate genera Turneria and Leptonema, respectively (Hovind-Hougen, 1979; Hookey et al., 1993; Ellis, 1995), although the former has not been officially published. These three genera comprise the family Leptospiraceae within the order Spirochaetales, which also contains the families Spirochaetaceae and Serpulinaceae.

Human leptospirosis has clearly existed since the earliest times, but it is impossible to ascribe with any certainty various records of febrile jaundice to leptospirosis or to other causes. Many...


Microscopic Agglutination Test Pathogenic Leptospire flaB Gene Conjunctival Suffusion Leptospiral Isolate 
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  • Ben Adler
  • Solly Faine

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