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Domain : Bacteria (bacteria)
Department : Proteobacteria
Class : Betaproteobacteria
Order : Nitrosomonadales
Family : Spirillaceae
Genre : Spirils
Scientific name
Ehrenberg 1832
  • Spirillum volutans
  • Spirillum winogradskyi
Pork manure spirils. The scourge heads at the cell ends are clearly visible ( phase contrast )

Spirilles (Latin Spirilla ) are bacteria of the genus Spirillum and the family Spirillaceae . They are rigidly helical (hence the name spirilla), relatively large (diameter 1.4–1.7 µm, length 14–60 µm) and bipolar-polytrich flagellated. They are gram negative , microaerophilic and dependent on oxygen O 2 . They have no catalase ( hydrogen peroxide- splitting enzyme) and are therefore very sensitive to hydrogen peroxide. They cannot tolerate sodium chloride concentrations above 0.2 g / L. They occur in fresh water with a low oxygen content. In fresh pig manure , Spirillum volutans occurs mostly in dense masses.

Although spirilla are generally considered to be microaerophilic, it is also possible to cultivate them in special culture media at normal oxygen concentrations. They break down various organic substances, but carbohydrates are not used.

After Antoni van Leeuwenhoek had described helical bacteria for the first time in 1663, the spirils were described in 1832 by the natural scientist Christian G. Ehrenberg . The only recognized types of spirilla are the non-pathogenic Spirillum volutans and Spirillum winogradskyi .

The species Spirillum minus triggers rat bite fever . The systematic position of this species is uncertain because a more detailed investigation of the species has not yet been possible. Therefore, this species is not included in the List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature (LPSN) (as of January 8, 2018).


Individual evidence

  1. Werner Köhler : Spirochetes. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1351.
  2. ^ Jean Euzéby, Aidan C. Parte: Genus Spirillum. In: List of Prokaryotic names with Standing in Nomenclature ( LPSN ). Retrieved August 6, 2014 .
  3. Werner Köhler (Ed.): Medical Microbiology. 8th edition, Munich / Jena 2001, ISBN 978-3-437-41640-8 .
  4. George M. Garrity (Ed., Editor-in-chief): Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology. 2nd Edition. Springer, New York, 2005, Volume 2: The Proteobacteria Part C: The Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Epsilonproteabacteria. ISBN 0-387-24145-0