Technical improvement to prevent DNA degradation of Leptospira spp. in pulsed field gel electrophoresis

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2009 Aug;49(2):289-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02641.x. Epub 2009 Jun 3.


Leptospirosis is a public health problem. Infection with pathogenic Leptospira occurs by exposure to many environments and is traditionally associated with occupational risk activities. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to investigate the epidemiological relatedness among Leptospira isolates. However, analysis by PFGE yielded inconclusive data as a result of extensive DNA degradation. This degradation can be significantly reduced by the inclusion of thiourea in the electrophoresis buffer, improving the analysis of DNA banding patterns.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques / methods
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonucleases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field / methods*
  • Humans
  • Leptospira / classification
  • Leptospira / genetics*
  • Leptospirosis / microbiology
  • Thiourea / pharmacology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • Thiourea