(redirected from spirochetal)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.


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 ?
25) Consequently, a decrease in neuronal expression of this glycoprotein might contribute to neurologic dysfunction and persistent spirochetal infection in the central nervous system.
To determine the effect of the presence of cattle on the prevalence of spirochetal infection in vector ticks, we sampled questing ticks within a fenced site where cattle grazed, examined them individually for spirochetal DNA by PCR and compared the resulting prevalence to that in ticks sampled from at least 10 m beyond the fence.
A great deal of gratitude is expressed to the scientists of Spiro Stat technologies for making the clinician's job much easier to diagnose spirochetal, copathogen, and fungal disease.
Subsequent febrile illness is likely to be diagnosed as malaria; however, microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood films should show the spirochetal cause of such cases.
15) The disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochetal bacterium like syphilis.
Although many residents of Lyme disease-endemic regions describe frequent exposure to ticks, relatively few become infected by the causative spirochetal agent, Borrelia burgdorferi (1-4).
Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary causative agent of Lyme disease, is a spirochetal bacterium that can adopt different inactive forms, such as cystic and granular forms (round bodies), as well as colonylike aggregates both in vivo and in vitro, in the presence of unfavorable conditions such as exposure to the antibiotics commonly used for treating Lyme borreliosis.
The Tullio phenomenon is seen in a range of clinical contexts, including congenital deafness, Meniere disease, suppurative middle ear disease, and spirochetal infections, such as syphilis or Lyme disease.
At the 12th International Conference on Lyme Disease and Other Spirochetal and Tick-Borne Disorders (April 1999), Burgdorfer explained that microbiologists have studied genus Borrelia spirochetes for over 100 years.
Rats are universal reservoirs for this spirochetal zoonosis, although farm animals and livestock can also harbor the infection.
Moving across the globe to Thailand, scientists at Khon Kaen University write that "Electron microscopy adds further evidence for persistence of spirochetal antigens in the joint in chronic Lyme Disease.
Although Randolph and Gern commit several minor mathematical errors, their calculations support our argument that few larval vector ticks would acquire spirochetal infection directly from an infected nymph (3).