Detection of leptospires in urine polymerase chain reaction

G. J.J.M. Van Eys, C. Gravekamp, M. J. Gerritsen, W. Quint, M. T.E. Cornelissen, J. Ter Schegget, W. J. Terpstra

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101 Scopus citations


Primers for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were synthesized from clones derived from a Leptospira hardjo (type hardjobovis) library. One pair of synthetic oligonucleotide primers was selected for further analysis. Under experimental conditions an amplification was obtained with DNA of Leptospira interrogans of some serovars belonging to serogroup sejroe. However, very little or no amplification was observed with DNA from other serovars of this group. No amplification was observed with DNA from other serogroups, other bacteria, or eucaryotic organisms. Cattle urine, seeded with hardjobovis, was processed in several ways and subsequently subjected to PCR. Boiling of the samples or treatment with detergents appeared to be most effective. Urine samples containing fewer than 10 leptospires gave a positive result in the PCR assay. Twenty urine samples obtained from a slaughterhouse or farm cows were investigated using the PCR assay, culture isolation, dot and quick blot hybridization, and serological tests. This comparative study suggests that amplification by PCR may be a valuable method for the detection of leptospires in cattle urine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2258-2262
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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