Leptospira

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Leptospira

[‚lep·tə′spī·rə]
(microbiology)
A genus of bacteria in the family Spirochaetaceae; thin, helical cells with bent or hooked ends.

Leptospira

 

a genus of microorganisms of the family Treponemataceae; the causative agent of leptospirosis.

There are two species of Leptospira: L. interrogans (parasitic) and L. biflexa (saprophytic). Leptospira have a thin axial filament surrounded by a cytoplasmatic spiral serving as the organ of locomotion (4–8 microns [μ] long, sometimes to 20 μ; 0.10–0.25 μ wide). Pathogenic leptospira die quickly upon exposure to sunlight, high temperature, acids, alkalis, and disinfectants.