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Indian J Med Microbiol. 2002 Jan-Mar;20(1):33-6.

Differentiation of pathogenic and saprophytic leptospires by polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Public Health, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly - 243 122, India.



To study the differences between pathogenic and saprophytic leptospires.


A total of 275 samples were collected from different sources out of which 107 were subjected to PCR and bacteriological culturing. Two sets of primers were used for detection of leptospiral DNA and differentiation of pathogenic and saprophytic leptospires. Differentiation was also carried out by conventional methods.


Twenty seven samples were found positive by PCR ut of which 26 were pathogenic and one was saprophytic. Culturing in EMJH medium yielded four isolates, of which isolates from sera were found to be pathogenic and isolate from water was found to be saprophytic.


From the present study, it was concluded that PCR is simple, specific and rapid method for detection as well as differentiation of leptospires when compared to conventional methods.

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