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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health



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Special edition Leptospira interrogans "Korea" isolated from patients with epidemic pulmonary hemorrhagic fever
Won Young Lee, Bong Ki Lee, Joo Deuk Kim, Joung Soon Kim, Sang Ok Kim

DOI: https://doi.org/
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Eight strains of Leptospira were isolated from patients with epidemic pulmonary hemorrhagic fever and natural rice field water samples. Sera from 23 out of 35 patients were strongly reacted with the isolated bacteria by slide agglutination test, immunofluorescent test and ELISA test. The major reacting immunoglobulins were IgM and IgG in the sera. All of the strains were equally pathogenic for guinea pig and mice, which were confirmed by pathology, immune-pathology and bacterial analysis of the sacrificed and dead animals with febrile symptom following the bacterial inoculation. The representative pathologic feature was massive hemorrhage due to diapedesis in the lung and intracellular existence of the bacterial antigens in liver and kidney, which were equally fluorescent positive for IgM, IgA, IgG and C3. The characteristics of the bacteria examined by pathogenicity, morphology and some of cultural behavior in artificial media were matched with Leptospira interrogans. Three strains electron microscope and the bacteria were found to be tightly coiled and the helix handedness was counter clock-wise (left). It is generally accepted that pathogenic spiral bacteria reported up to date are coiled clockwise (right). Therefore, it was concluded that the bacteria isolated from the patients via animal inoculation were the responsible agent for the human infection. They can be characterized as Leptospira interrogans according to pathogenicity, cultural behavior except the fact that their left handed coil. Thus, the bacteria were tentatively named as Leptospira "Korea”.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health