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J Med Microbiol. 2004 Apr;53(Pt 4):301-7.

Immunomagnetic separation of the intestinal spirochaetes Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae from porcine faeces.

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Zoonotic and Animal Pathogens, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


Porcine intestinal spirochaetes are fastidious anaerobic organisms and, as a consequence, it has been necessary to develop various protocols to enhance their isolation from or detection in faeces. Immunomagnetic separation (IMS) is a method developed recently to improve separation of target cells from mixed cell suspensions. The purpose of the present study was to compare the relative sensitivity of IMS for isolation of Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae with current routine diagnostic methods (culture on selective media and PCR) for detection of these micro-organisms in pig faeces. Neither direct nor indirect IMS methods enhanced the sensitivity of detection of either organism when performed with the recommended washings during sample processing. Performance of the IMS procedure without washing gave sensitivity at levels similar to direct culture onto selective medium. Further development of IMS techniques is required to improve isolation rates of Brachyspira species from faecal samples.

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