OBJECTIVE To evaluate the correlation between the density of native gastric Helicobacter spp and the presence of gastric lesions in dogs.
ANIMALS 80 dogs of various breeds, sexes, and ages.
PROCEDURES Gastroscopic and histologic examinations were performed for all dogs. Helicobacter spp were detected by combining evaluation of urease activity and results of bacteriologic culture, microscopic observation, and a 16S rRNA PCR assay. The density of Helicobacter-like organisms was evaluated with light microscopy by use of Warthin-Starry modified stain. Correlations were evaluated by use of the Spearman correlation analysis.
RESULTS Gastritis was found in 55 of 80 dogs and classified as mild (n = 31), moderate (16), or severe (8). Of these 55 dogs, only 8 had clinical signs. Histologic examination revealed some degree of lymphocytic-plasmacytic infiltrate, mild eosinophilia, and neutrophilic inflammation in the lamina propria. Seventy-six dogs had positive results for Helicobacter spp. Helicobacter pylori DNA was not detected. Low density and homogeneous distribution of Helicobacter spp were observed in all gastric zones.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A significant correlation between density of Helicobacter spp and gastroscopic or histologic lesions was not detected. These findings supported the contention that there is no correlation between general Helicobacter spp density or numbers and gastritis in dogs.