Detection of Leptospira species by PCR and sequencing

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Detection of Leptospira spp. by PCR and sequencing.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection and Genotyping
Leptospira spp.
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Leptospirosis

Whole Blood/EDTA – minimum volume: 2-5 mL; Urine (as fresh as possible to prevent degradation of Leptospira organism) – minimum volume: 5-10 mL; CSF – minimum volume: 400 uL.


Collection Method:

Collect aseptically into appropriate sterile container.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Refrigerate (2-8C) - do not allow blood, urine or CSF to freeze. Ship with freezer packs in leak proof containers. Overnight shipping is recommended.


Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.


Patient Criteria:

Symptoms of Leptospira spp. infection may include fever, headache, chills, severe malaise, skin rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia, conjunctival suffusion, jaundice, kidney and/or liver failure, meningitis and chest pains. Contact with an infected animal (dogs, cattle, raccoons, rodents, etc.) or recent travel to locations known to be endemic for Leptospira spp.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Requisition for Molecular Testing for Selected Zoonotic Agents.



Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume or are not accompanied by relevant patient information or clinical history.

Initiation of antibiotic treatment prior to testing may result in decreased antibody production which will affect the outcome of serological testing.


Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Extracted DNA is screened by real-time PCR using an assay that targets the lipL32 gene of Leptospira spp. . Samples that are positive by the screening assay are then tested by conventional PCR and sequencing of the citrate synthase gene to determine the Leptospira species.


Turnaround Time:

21 calendar days.

Phone: (204) 789-7434 or (204) 789-7662
Fax: (204) 789-2082
  1. Levett, P.N. Leptospirosis (2001) Clin. Micro. Rev. (14): 296-326.
  2. Stoddard R. A., Gee J. E., Wilkins P. P., McCaustland K., et al.2009Detection of pathogenic Leptospira spp. through TaqMan polymerase chain reaction targeting the LipL32 gene. Diagn. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 64:247255.
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