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Infect Genet Evol. 2009 Sep;9(5):760-8. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

A century of Leptospira strain typing.

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Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil.


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease with high mortality and morbidity rates in humans and animals throughout the world. Since the discovery of Leptospira, the causal agent of leptospirosis, a century ago, this spirochete has been isolated from the environment and a wide spectrum of animals and classified into serogroups and serovars as a function of antigenic determinants. Modern technology has greatly improved laboratory procedures, particularly those for the detection, identification and typing of epidemiologic strains. In this review, we describe "classical" serotyping methods, followed by a description of genotyping and post-genomic typing methods.

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