SUMMARY: Catalase activity of an order comparable with that of aerobic bacteria was demonstrated in many strains of pathogenic leptospira. There was no correlation with serotype or virulence. Catalase was intracellular; its activity was increased by lysing the leptospires with bile salt or by freezing and thawing, and was inhibited by 0·001 M-KCN or heating. Its optimum pH was 7·0 and optimum temperature 37° whether the leptospires were grown at 30° or 37°. Ageing cultures showed increased catalase activity inversely proportional to the numbers of leptospira organisms, due to autolysis. Qualitative tests for peroxidase activity were negative. Positive qualitative tests for enzymic oxidizing systems were obtained with catalase-active and catalase-inactive leptospires in washed suspensions and when growing on solid media.


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