Putative pathogenic genes of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira weilii isolated from patients with acute febrile illness

Amira Wahida Mohamad Safiee, Mohammad Ridhuan Mohd Ali, Muhammad Zarul Hanifah Md Zoqratt, Tan Hock Siew, Chua Wei Chuan, Lee Lih Huey, Mohd Hashairi Fauzi, Alwi Muhd Besari, Chan Yean Yean, Nabilah Ismail

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Leptospirosis is an important worldwide tropical disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp. The determination of virulence genes is important, as it influences patients’ clinical manifestations and clinical outcomes. This case report focused on detecting the pathogenic genes of Leptospira in association with the clinical manifestations of patients at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, who presented with acute febrile illness. Two cases were found and, to the best of our knowledge, these were the first two cases in Malaysia in which patients presented with febrile illness were associated with successful Leptospira isolation from clinical samples. Both clinical isolates were identified by 16S rRNA sequencing as Leptospira weilii and Leptospira interrogans, respectively, and they were classified as pathogenic Leptospira by the presence of different pathogenic genes, based on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of targeted genes. This report emphasizes that different infecting Leptospira species and the presence of different virulence factors cause a slight difference in clinical manifestations and laboratory findings of leptospirosis. Genomic sequencing and annotation revealed the detection of classical leptospiral virulence factor genes that were otherwise missed using PCR for detection of Leptospira weilii genome B208.

Original languageEnglish
Article number284
Number of pages12
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • febrile illness
  • genomic sequencing
  • Leptospirosis
  • pathogenic genes

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