Volume 40, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Tropical ulcer is a disabling condition of the lower leg affecting mainly young adults and older children. Microscopic observations of lesion material have shown fusiform bacilli and spirochetes. We used anaerobic culture techniques to isolate and identify these fusiform bacilli. Electron microscopic (EM) studies were performed to characterize the spirochetes. Material collected on swabs was used to inoculate pre-reduced media and to prepare smears for gram staining; the swabs were placed in fixative for EM study. After incubation, colonies containing fusiform bacilli were subcultured. The anaerobic gramnegative fusiform isolates were identified as using biochemical reactions, hemagglutination testing, and reaction of antigen preparations of the isolates and ATCC strains in serological tests with rabbit antisera. EM observations of negatively stained spirochetes revealed an 8-16-8 periplasmic flagellar arrangement. and spirochetes may participate in the pathogenesis of this polymicrobic infection.


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