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      Leptospira spp. strain identification by MALDI TOF MS is an equivalent tool to 16S rRNA gene sequencing and multi locus sequence typing (MLST)

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          Abstract

          Background

          In this study mass spectrometry was used for evaluating extracted leptospiral protein samples and results were compared with molecular typing methods. For this, an extraction protocol for Leptospira spp. was independently established in two separate laboratories. Reference spectra were created with 28 leptospiral strains, including pathogenic, non-pathogenic and intermediate strains. This set of spectra was then evaluated on the basis of measurements with well-defined, cultured leptospiral strains and with 16 field isolates of veterinary or human origin. To verify discriminating peaks for the applied pathogenic strains, statistical analysis of the protein spectra was performed using the software tool ClinProTools. In addition, a dendrogram of the reference spectra was compared with phylogenetic trees of the 16S rRNA gene sequences and multi locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis.

          Results

          Defined and reproducible protein spectra using MALDI-TOF MS were obtained for all leptospiral strains. Evaluation of the newly-built reference spectra database allowed reproducible identification at the species level for the defined leptospiral strains and the field isolates. Statistical analysis of three pathogenic genomospecies revealed peak differences at the species level and for certain serovars analyzed in this study. Specific peak patterns were reproducibly detected for the serovars Tarassovi, Saxkoebing, Pomona, Copenhageni, Australis, Icterohaemorrhagiae and Grippotyphosa. Analysis of the dendrograms of the MLST data, the 16S rRNA sequencing, and the MALDI-TOF MS reference spectra showed comparable clustering.

          Conclusions

          MALDI-TOF MS analysis is a fast and reliable method for species identification, although Leptospira organisms need to be produced in a time-consuming culture process. All leptospiral strains were identified, at least at the species level, using our described extraction protocol. Statistical analysis of the three genomospecies L. borgpetersenii, L. interrogans and L. kirschneri revealed distinctive, reproducible differentiating peaks for seven leptospiral strains which represent seven serovars. Results obtained by MALDI-TOF MS were confirmed by MLST and 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Leptospira and leptospirosis.

          Leptospirosis is the most wide spread zoonosis worldwide; it is present in all continents except Antarctica and evidence for the carriage of Leptospira has been found in virtually all mammalian species examined. Humans most commonly become infected through occupational, recreational, or domestic contact with the urine of carrier animals, either directly or via contaminated water or soil. Leptospires are thin, helical bacteria classified into at least 12 pathogenic and 4 saprophytic species, with more than 250 pathogenic serovars. Immunity following infection is generally, but not exclusively, mediated by antibody against leptospiral LPS and restricted to antigenically related serovars. Vaccines currently available consist of killed whole cell bacterins which are used widely in animals, but less so in humans. Current work with recombinant protein antigens shows promise for the development of vaccines based on defined protective antigens. The cellular and molecular basis for virulence remains poorly understood, but comparative genomics of pathogenic and saprophytic species suggests that Leptospira expresses unique virulence determinants. However, the recent development of defined mutagenesis systems for Leptospira heralds the potential for gaining a much improved understanding of pathogenesis in leptospirosis. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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            Leptospirosis: a zoonotic disease of global importance

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              Genome Sequence of the Saprophyte Leptospira biflexa Provides Insights into the Evolution of Leptospira and the Pathogenesis of Leptospirosis

              Leptospira biflexa is a free-living saprophytic spirochete present in aquatic environments. We determined the genome sequence of L. biflexa, making it the first saprophytic Leptospira to be sequenced. The L. biflexa genome has 3,590 protein-coding genes distributed across three circular replicons: the major 3,604 chromosome, a smaller 278-kb replicon that also carries essential genes, and a third 74-kb replicon. Comparative sequence analysis provides evidence that L. biflexa is an excellent model for the study of Leptospira evolution; we conclude that 2052 genes (61%) represent a progenitor genome that existed before divergence of pathogenic and saprophytic Leptospira species. Comparisons of the L. biflexa genome with two pathogenic Leptospira species reveal several major findings. Nearly one-third of the L. biflexa genes are absent in pathogenic Leptospira. We suggest that once incorporated into the L. biflexa genome, laterally transferred DNA undergoes minimal rearrangement due to physical restrictions imposed by high gene density and limited presence of transposable elements. In contrast, the genomes of pathogenic Leptospira species undergo frequent rearrangements, often involving recombination between insertion sequences. Identification of genes common to the two pathogenic species, L. borgpetersenii and L. interrogans, but absent in L. biflexa, is consistent with a role for these genes in pathogenesis. Differences in environmental sensing capacities of L. biflexa, L. borgpetersenii, and L. interrogans suggest a model which postulates that loss of signal transduction functions in L. borgpetersenii has impaired its survival outside a mammalian host, whereas L. interrogans has retained environmental sensory functions that facilitate disease transmission through water.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Microbiol
                BMC Microbiol
                BMC Microbiology
                BioMed Central
                1471-2180
                2012
                27 August 2012
                : 12
                : 185
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Bacteriology and Mycology, Institute for Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstr.13, 80539, Munich, Germany
                [2 ]Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Veterinaerstr. 2, D-85764, Oberschleißheim, Germany
                Article
                1471-2180-12-185
                10.1186/1471-2180-12-185
                3460781
                22925589
                Copyright ©2012 Rettinger et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Methodology Article

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