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J Clin Microbiol. 1997 Dec;35(12):3140-6.

Identification of pathogenic Leptospira genospecies by continuous monitoring of fluorogenic hybridization probes during rapid-cycle PCR.

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School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


Partial sequences of 23S rRNA gene PCR products from 23 strains of 6 pathogenic Leptospira genospecies and from 8 strains of the saprophytic Leptospira biflexa were determined. Sequence analyses enabled Leptospira genus-specific amplification primers and pathogen-specific fluorogenic adjacent hybridization probes to be designed and synthesized. A PCR protocol was developed in which changes in fluorescence emission resulting from specific annealing of fluorogenic adjacent hybridization probes to the target DNA were continuously monitored. Nine strains of the pathogenic Leptospira genospecies could be differentiated from Leptonema illini, Escherichia coli, and eight strains of Leptospira biflexa. The PCR method was rapid, requiring 18 min for the completion of 45 cycles. It was also simple and flexible, as DNA templates prepared by four different methods, including the simple boiling method, could be used without adverse effects. Two hundred copies of target, equivalent to 100 cells, could be detected.

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