- A genus of motile aerobic bacteria (order Spirochaetales) containing thin, tightly coiled organisms 6–20 μm in length. They possess an axial filament, and one or both ends may be bent into a semicircular hook. They stain with difficulty except with Giemsa stain or silver impregnation. Associated with icterohemorrhagic fever. They include 7 pathogens and 3 nonpathogenic species; the type species is L. interrogans. [lepto- + G. speira, a coil]- L. interrogans a species containing multiple named pathogenic serovars. Causative agent of leptospirosis. It is the type species of the genus L..
* * *lep·to·spi·ra .lep-tō-'spī-rə n1) cap a genus of extremely slender aerobic spirochetes (family Leptospiraceae) that are free-living or parasitic in mammals and include a number of important pathogens (as L. icterohaemorrhagiae of Weil's disease or L. canicola of canicola fever)
* * *n.a genus of spirochaete bacteria, commonly bearing hooked ends. They are not visible with ordinary light microscopy and are best seen using dark-ground microscopy. The parasitic species L. icterohaemorrhagiae is the main causative agent of Weil's disease (see leptospirosis), but many closely related species cause similar symptoms.
* * *Lep·to·spi·ra (lep″to-spiґrə) [lepto- + Gr. speira coil] a genus of bacteria of the family Leptospiraceae, consisting of single, finely coiled, motile, aerobic cells with hooked ends that are visible by darkfield microscopy. The type species, which contains all pathogenic strains, is L. interґrogans.
Medical dictionary. 2011.