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Development of a duplex-polymerase chain reaction for rapid detection of pathogenic Leptospira.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


A duplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the rapid detection of pathogenic leptospires was developed by using two sets of newly designed primers which amplified in the same reaction two different DNA fragments simultaneously: 279-bp of LipL32 and 430-bp of 16S rRNA. For DNA extraction from bacterial cultures, the silica-based spin column method was found to be more suitable and was selected for the extraction of DNAs from all 92 bacterial strains including 56 strains of pathogenic Leptospira, 15 strains of non-pathogenic Leptospira and 21 other strains of bacteria. The PCR products were analyzed by agarose gel-electrophoresis with confirmation by Southern and dot hybridization using synthetic DNA probe prepared from LipL32 gene of a pathogenic reference strain, L. interrogans serovar pyrogenes. The duplex-PCR allowed detection of two products of 279 bp and 430 bp in all pathogenic Leptospira. Non-pathogenic Leptospira generated a single product of 430 bp. Other bacterial strains failed to reveal any amplification products. As little as 1 pg of pure DNA corresponding to 100 cells could be detected by agarose gel-electrophoresis, and 1-10 fg of pure DNA by hybridization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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