Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29765361
Front Microbiol 2018;9:816
Leptospirosis is an important environmental disease and a major threat to human health causing at least 1 million clinical infections annually. There has recently been a growing interest in understanding the environmental lifestyle of . However, isolation from complex environmental samples is difficult and time-consuming and few tools are available to identify isolates at the species level. Here, we propose a polyphasic isolation and identification scheme, which might prove useful to recover and identify environmental isolates and select those to be submitted to whole-genome sequencing. Using this approach, we recently described 12 novel species for which we propose names. We also show that MALDI-ToF MS allows rapid and reliable identification and provide an extensive database of MALDI-ToF mass spectra, which will be valuable to researchers in the leptospirosis community for species identification. Lastly, we also re-evaluate some of the current techniques for the molecular diagnosis of leptospirosis taking into account the extensive and recently revealed biodiversity of in the environment. In conclusion, we describe our method for isolating from the environment, confirm the usefulness of mass spectrometry for species identification and propose names for 12 novel species. This also offers the opportunity to refine current molecular diagnostic tools.