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Infect Immun. 1995 Sep; 63(9): 3722–3725.
PMCID: PMC173518

Inability of an isogenic urease-negative mutant stain of Helicobacter mustelae to colonize the ferret stomach.


Eight ferrets specific-pathogen-free for Helicobacter mustelae were given, per dose, approximately 3.0 x 10(7) CFU of either the wild-type parent strain of H. mustelae (NCTC 12032) (two ferrets) the isogenic urease-negative mutant strain of H. mustelae (10::Tn3Km) (four ferrets), or sterile culture broth (two ferrets). Infection status was monitored by endoscopic gastric biopsy for urease activity, histopathology, and culture and by serology at 3, 6, 10, and 21 weeks. All ferrets were necropsied at 25 weeks. Both negative control ferrets remained uninfected, both ferrets receiving the H. mustelae wild-type parent strain became infected after two doses of the organism, and all four ferrets given two doses of the isogenic urease-negative mutant strain of H. mustelae remained uninfected throughout the 6-month study. Histopathology correlated with infection status. H. mustelae-infected ferrets exhibited diffuse mononuclear inflammation in the subglandular region and the lamina propria of the gastric mucosa, while uninfected ferrets showed no or minimal inflammation. These results suggest that urease activity is essential for colonization of the ferret stomach by H. mustelae.

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Selected References

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