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Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0375-0760


FRANCOIS BARBAGELATA, Silvina et al. Isolation of Leptospira borgpetersenii in water sources in Argentina. Rev Cubana Med Trop [online]. 2013, vol.65, n.2, pp.177-184. ISSN 0375-0760.

Introduction: the Leptospira genus species are causative agents of leptospirosis, a disease that is considered the most widely spread zoonotic disease worldwide. In Argentina, leptospirosis is endemic and Santa Fe province has the highest number of human cases. Since mid-1980's, the pathogenic leptospira species isolated from animals and humans have been differenciated through DNA-DNA hybridization tests, resulting in new species: L. interrogans, L. kirschneri, L. weilii, L. noguchii, L. borgpetersenii, L. santarosai, L. meyeri, L. inadai, L. faineri y L. alexanderi. Objectives: to isolate and to characterize by molecular test leptospiras from water poured into a channel that runs through Casilda City in Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Methods: six samples of water from the channel were cultured after having been filtered through 0.22 µm, Millpore filtres in EMJH and Fletcher media to isolate leptospires. They were incubated at 30 °C for 15 days, and weekly observed through dark field microscopy. Polymerase chain reaction assay was used under specific conditions (Sugathan, 2005), with two sets of primers (Gravekamp, 1993), to determine whether the isolates were pathogenic. The molecular technique for genotyping was Multiple-Locus Variable-number tandem repeats Analysis (MLVA). Results: five Leptospira spp. isolates were obtained of which 2 were positive to PCR, all of which determined that they were pathogenic leptospiras. MLVA genotyping allowed the observation of a pattern similar to that of L. borgpetersenii species in one pathogenic isolates, but the other isolate was not identified. Conclusions: in the City where the study was carried out, with a population of about 40,000 inhabitants, a L. borgpetersenii species was identified for the first time in urban water sources, with the potential risk that it may pose for human and animal populations.

Keywords : Leptospira borgpetersenii; water; Santa Fe; Argentina.

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