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
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)