The Response of Leptospira Interrogans Serovar Canicola to Salt and Nutrient Deprevation
Berg, Benjamin R.
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The most common sources of leptospire infection (causing the disease leptospirosis) are urine, kidneys, surface waters, mud, and soil (Faine et al., 1999). The conditions of these sources support leptospires differently. In kidneys, where concentrations of NaCI reach as much .85%, the bacteria can survive and multiply (Faine, 1959). In surface waters, mud, and soil leptospires are found only in fresh water reserves (Cinco et al., 1975. Karaseva et al., 1973. Baker et aL, 1970), where there is no evidence they can reproduce. We hypothesized that leptospires may respond differently to NaCI depending on the absence or presence of nutrients or energy. To test this we exposed Leptospira interrogans serovar canicola cells to nutrient (polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate) and nutrient free concentrations of NaCI in autoclaved distilled water, and to autoclaved natural waters of the Portoviejo River, Manta River, and the Pacific Ocean. We showed that polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate increases cell tolerance and survival in low concentrations of (.007-.053%) NaCI and that the serovar canicola is intolerant to natural salt-water reserves regardless of the presence of nutrients.