Identification of Leptospira inadai by continuous monitoring of fluorescence during rapid cycle PCR

Syst Appl Microbiol. 1998 Mar;21(1):89-96. doi: 10.1016/S0723-2020(98)80011-8.


Seven new Leptospira isolates from rats, a buffalo, and contaminated media showed either reactive serology against more than 1 serogroup or no reactive serology against a reference panel of 22 serovars in the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Because of these inconclusive results, the 16S rDNA sequences of these isolates were determined and found to resemble that of the type strain of Leptospira inadai (L. inadai), serovar lyme strain 10, which is considered to be nonpathogenic for humans. Comparative analyses of other Leptospira 16S rDNA sequences from databases revealed a L. inadai-specific signature sequence, against which an amplification primer was designed. This primer when used in conjunction with an universal primer enabled the trial of a rapid PCR protocol in which fluorescence emissions due to binding of SYBR Green I dye to PCR products were continuously monitored during rapid thermal cycling. A melting curve acquired immediately after PCR was used to distinguish the intended product. The thermal cycling and continuous monitoring of fluorescence emission were accomplished by the LightCycler; the whole procedure of 30 PCR cycles and melting curve acquisition required only 20 minutes. The primer achieved the required specificity, as the intended PCR product resulted only from 6 confirmed L. inadai reference strains and 7 field isolates that had been verified as L. inadai by the 16S rDNA sequencing, but not from 16 reference strains of Leptospira belonging to 7 other genospecies. Furthermore, these experiments showed that the PCR protocol was robust because target DNA of different conditions, which were extracted by either 1 of the 4 methods used, could be detected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • DNA, Ribosomal / analysis
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Leptospira / classification*
  • Leptospira / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organic Chemicals*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Rats
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity
  • rRNA Operon


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Organic Chemicals
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • SYBR Green I