Skip to Content
Medical Term:


Pronunciation: spi'ro-ke-ta'lez

Definition: An order of bacteria containing slender, flexuous cells, 6–500 mcm in length, in the form of spirals with at least one complete turn. Some species may have an axial filament, a lateral crista, or ridge, or transverse striations. All these organisms are motile, whirling or spinning about the long axis, thus driving the organism forward or backward. Free-living, saprophytic, and parasitic forms occur. The type family is Spirochaetaceae.

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.