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Stomach Ulcer Bug Identified in Pigs

by 5m Editor
10 June 2008, at 11:43am

BELGIUM - Researchers from Belgium's Gent University have sequestered a new bacterium Helicobacter suis sp. nov. found in the stomachs of pigs through the use of an innovative technique, one that offers hope to people suffering from stomach ulcers.

A new cultivation method was successfully applied for the in vitro isolation of a hitherto uncultured spiral Helicobacter species associated with ulceration of the non-glandular stomach and gastritis in pigs and formerly described as ‘Candidatus Helicobacter suis’.

Three isolates, HS1T, HS2 and HS3, were subcultured from the stomach mucosa of three pigs after slaughter and were analysed using a polyphasic taxonomic approach. The novel isolates grew on biphasic culture plates or very moist agar bases in microaerobic conditions and exhibited urease, oxidase and catalase activities.

Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, the 23S rRNA gene, the partial hsp60 gene and partial ureAB genes confirmed that the strains present in the gastric mucosa of pigs constituted a separate taxon, corresponding to ‘Helicobacter heilmannii’ type 1 strains as detected in the gastric mucosa of humans and other primates.

For all genes sequenced, the highest sequence similarities were obtained with Helicobacter felis, Helicobacter bizzozeronii and Helicobacter salomonis, Helicobacter species isolated from the gastric mucosa of dogs and cats, which have also been detected in the human gastric mucosa and which are commonly referred to as ‘Helicobacter heilmannii’ type 2. SDS-PAGE of whole-cell proteins of strains HS1T, HS2 and HS3 differentiated them from other Helicobacter species of gastric origin. The results of the polyphasic taxonomic analysis confirmed that the novel isolates constitute a novel taxon corresponding to ‘Helicobacter heilmannii’ type 1 strains from humans and to ‘Candidatus H. suis’ from pigs. The name Helicobacter suis sp. nov. is proposed for the novel isolates with the type strain HS1T (=LMG 23995T=DSM 19735T).

5m Editor