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Objective—To determine whether a Helicobacter sp similar to Helicobacter pylori in the stomachs of humans could be isolated from the stomachs of pigs.

Animals—4 young conventionally reared and 21 gnotobiotic pigs.

Procedure—Gastric mucosal homogenates (10% wt/vol) from 4 young conventionally reared pigs were cultured on Skirrow medium under microaerophilic conditions to assess the presence of Helicobacter spp. Colonies with morphologic features compatible with Helicobacter organisms were selected, tested for urease activity, and subpassaged on Skirrow medium. Isolates were examined via SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and reciprocal western blot analyses involving convalescent sera from monoinfected gnotobiotic pigs.

Results—Urease- and catalase-positive, gram-negative, microaerophilic, small, curved rod bacteria were isolated from the gastric mucosa of young healthy pigs. The first isolate (2662) was structurally and immunologically closely related to H pylori isolated from humans. The second isolate (1268) displayed an SDS-PAGE profile dissimilar to that of H pylori and isolate 2662, yet it shared limited immunologic crossreactivity with these microbes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings of this study indicate that development of gastric mucosal ulcers and ulceration of the nonglandular pars esophagea in pigs may be associated with gastric colonization by swine-origin Helicobacter spp, which are similar to H pylori isolated from humans. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:938–944)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research