Salmonella L-forms: formation in human bile in vitro and isolation culture from patients’ gallbladder samples by a non-high osmotic isolation technique


D.N. Wang, W.J. Wu, T. Wang, Y.Z. Pan, K.L. Tang, X.L. She, W.J. Ding, & H. Wang


Bacterial L-forms have always been considered as osmotic-pressure-sensitive cell-wall-deficient bacteria and isolation culture of L-forms must use media with high osmotic pressure. However, isolation culture of stable L-forms formed in humans and animals is very difficult because they have adapted to the physiological osmotic pressure condition of the host. We use a non-high osmotic isolation technique to isolate stable L-forms of Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi A from bile-inducer cultures in vitro and from patients’ gallbladder specimens. Multiplex PCR assay for Salmonella-specific genes and nucleotide sequencing are used to identify the Salmonella L-forms in stable L-form isolates. Using this method, we confirmed thatSalmonella Paratyphi A and Salmonella Typhi cannot be isolated from bile-inducer cultures cultured for 6 h or 48 h, but the L-forms can be isolated from 1 h to 45 days. In the 524 gallbladder samples, the positive rate for bacterial forms was 19.7% and the positive rate for Salmonella spp. was 0.6% by routine bacteriological methods. The positive rate for bacterial L-forms was 75.4% using non-high osmotic isolation culture. In the L-form isolates, the positive rate of Salmonella invA gene was 3.1%. In these invA-positive L-form isolates, four were positive for the invA and flic-d genes of Salmonella Typhi, and ten were positive for the invA and flic-agenes of Salmonella Paratyphi A.

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