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Chapter 55 : Algorithms for Identification of Curved and Spiral-Shaped Gram-Negative Rods
Curved and spiral-shaped bacteria have a common microscopic morphology but represent diverse bacterial pathogens. Most bacteria in this group are isolated from patients with gastrointestinal tract-related infections. Campylobacter spp., Helicobacter spp., Arcobacter spp., and Vibrio spp. are the common species in the gastrointestinal tract. Other species, such as Desulfovibrio spp., Sutterella, Wolinella, and Anaerobiospirillum, may be isolated from other sources. The spirochetes Borrelia spp. and Leptospira spp. cause systemic infections and may be isolated in the lab with specialized methods. Treponema spp. of clinical importance are diagnosed using microscopic, serologic, and molecular methods.