Viability of Leptospira in BacT/ALERT® MB Media

Matthew E. Griffith*, Lynn L. Horvath, Walter V. Mika, Joshua S. Hawley, James E. Moon, Duane R. Hospenthal, Clinton K. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recovery of Leptospira in the clinical setting is typically low as specialized culture media is needed. Previous data demonstrated that blood culture media commonly available to most clinical laboratories do not adequately sustain viable Leptospira. We hypothesized that mycobacterial blood culture medium, which is often readily available to most clinical laboratories, might be able to support the growth of Leptospira. Leptospires and fresh human blood were inoculated into BacT/ALERT® (bioMérieux, Durham NC) mycobacterial (MB) and enriched mycobacterial bottles. Standard aerobic (FA) and anaerobic (SN) bottles were also inoculated as a control group. Inoculated bottles were then evaluated for their ability to support Leptospira growth using dark-field microscopy, subculture, and an automated growth detection system. Viable leptospires were detected in MB bottles up to day 14. FA and SN were performed in accordance with prior data. We conclude that MB and enriched MB bottles of the BacT/ALERT® blood culture system can support viable leptospires.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalDiagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood culture
  • Diagnosis
  • Leptospirosis


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