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The common name for any member of the order Spirochaetales.



a bacterium, measuring 0.1–0.6 micrometer in diameter and 5–500 micrometers in length, in the form of an elongated coiled spiral. The majority of species have a slender axis filament around which the body of the cell is spirally coiled. Spirochetes lack flagella and are characterized by undulating movements, during which the cells rotate around their long axis. Reproduction is by transverse fission.

Spirochetes may be nonpathogenic or pathogenic. The former inhabit freshwaters, and the latter parasitize mollusks and cause syphilis in man (Treponema pallidum), relapsing fever (Borrelia recurrentis), and other spirochetoses. Under artificial conditions, nonpathogenic spirochetes grow on ordinary nutrient mediums and pathogenic spirochetes grow on mediums that contain serum and pieces of fresh tissue or the internal organs of animals. Some forms have not yet been grown in the laboratory.

References in periodicals archive ?
In one case, Warthin-Starry special stain to detect spirochaetes was negative and serological confirmation was advised.
Leptospira are spirochaetes, Gram-negative bacteria which is a causal agent for this disease.
In lysimeter samples, a few sequences were assigned to TM7, Spirochaetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Chlamydiae phyla.
Differentiation of intestinal spirochaetes by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis analysis and 16S rRNA sequence comparisons.
Infectious causes may be due to bacteria, mycobacteria, viruses, fungi or spirochaetes and may form part of an immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) if occurring after the onset of ARV medication.
Background & objectives: Leptospirosis, a zoonosis with a worldwide distribution is an acute febrile illness caused by spirochaetes of the pathogenic Leptospira interrogans.
On global basis, ticks transmit a number of pathogenic organisms like protozoans, rickettsiae, spirochaetes and viruses, than any other arthropod vector group, and are among the most important vectors of diseases affecting livestock, humans and companion animals (1).
Miraculous cheek that prying probe, like some damned god's voyeuristic telescope: cilia spun from spirochaetes, chloropasts from bacteria.