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Original Article A study on the leptospiral strains isolated in Korea (preliminary result)
J.S Kim, Y Heo, H.W Chung, W.Y Lee, G Baranton, E Amazouz
Epidemiol Health 1987;9(1):9-16
DOI: https://doi.org/
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The objective of this study is to identify serovar of ten leptospiral strains isolated in Korea. Leptospirosis is one of the newly identified diseases in Korea by isolating leptospires from the patients of epidemic pulmonary hemorrhagic fever in 1984, till when the syndrome complex had been a disease of unknown etiology since 1975 epidemic. Leptospirosis is a disease of public health importance since then because of high frequency of occurrence with high fatality, particularly after flood during fruit-bearing season among farmers. Numerous studies have been carried out including epidemiological, clinical and bacteriological studies for the new disease by researchers of various areas. Nevertheless identification and distribution of leptospiral serovars have not been accomplished to the extent of developing prevention strategies. This paper reports the preliminary result on the study that was conducted in the leptospires laboratory of Pasteur Institute jointly. Twenty six strains of leptospires were brought to the laboratory and studied for two months for serovar identification. Routine and standard methods for leptospiral identification were employed and the preliminary result obtained is summarized as following: 1. The leptospiral cultures were heavily contaminated, probably due to inadequate way of transportation, and only 15 strains out of 26 were successfully cultureable by filtering through 0.22μm sized filter membrane and/or culturing the contaminated in the media with 5-flourouracil. The eleven strains that had viable leptospires but failed pure culture are available again in Seoul from stock cultures. 2. Microagglutination tests with antisera of 28 serovars revealed that one strain out of 15 tested reacted strongly(1:51200 dilution)with antisera of Icterohemorrhagiae copenhageni, Icterohemorrhagiae mwogolo and Icterhemorrhagiae wijnberg. However when the cross-agglutination absorption test was done the result showed that the strain belonged to none of these three strains. Later we found the strain reacted most strongly with the antiserum of Icterohemorrhagiae lai of which clinical picture is similar to that of Korean leptospirosis but was not included in the 28 antisera of routine screening. 3. Another one strain on the other hand reacted with antisera of Canicola Hond Utrecht, Canicola chiffon (French local strain) and Canicola jonsis by the dilution of 1:25600 in MAT. Unfortunately the strain was lost completely so that the cross-agglutination-absorption test was not performed; the test will be done with the strain stocked in Korea. 4. None of remaining 13 strains reacted with the antisera of 28 serovars used for screening in dilution of 1:50. 5. All of these 13 strains that did not react with 28 serovars of pathogenic leptospiral strain reacted with tokyo weakly(1:100-400), suggesting the strains have common antigenic structure of leptospires in part but not tokyo serovar itself. 6. Two strains out of these 13 reacted with the antisera of saada and andamana in dilution of 1:1600-3200, which also grew well in the medium containing 8-azaguanine. The eleven strains that did not show any positive MAT reaction with 28 antisera of pathogenic leptospiral strain or ten saprophytic strains need further study.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health