Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26154161
PLoS ONE 2015;10(7):e0127430
BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis that is endemic in tropical areas, such as Reunion Island. The species Leptospira interrogans is the primary agent in human infections, but other pathogenic species, such as L. kirschner and L. borgpetersenii, are also associated with human leptospirosis.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, a melting curve analysis of the products that were amplified with the primer pairs lfb1 F/R and G1/G2 facilitated an accurate species classification of Leptospira reference strains. Next, we combined an unsupervised high resolution melting (HRM) method with a new statistical approach using primers to amplify a two variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) for typing at the subspecies level. The HRM analysis, which was performed with ScreenClust Software, enabled the identification of genotypes at the serovar level with high resolution power (Hunter-Gaston index 0.984). This method was also applied to Leptospira DNA from blood samples that were obtained from Reunion Island after 1998. We were able to identify a unique genotype that is identical to that of the L. interrogans serovars Copenhageni and Icterohaemorrhagiae, suggesting that this genotype is the major cause of leptospirosis on Reunion Island.
CONCLUSIONS: Our simple, rapid, and robust genotyping method enables the identification of Leptospira strains at the species and subspecies levels and supports the direct genotyping of Leptospira in biological samples without requiring cultures.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26154161