• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of iaiPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalIAI ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Infect Immun. Sep 1997; 65(9): 3672–3679.
PMCID: PMC175523

Coccoid forms of Helicobacter pylori are the morphologic manifestation of cell death.

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori can transform from its normal helical bacillary morphology to a coccoid morphology. Since this coccoid form cannot be cultured in vitro, it has been speculated that it is a dormant form potentially involved in the transmission of H. pylori and in a patient's relapse after antibiotic therapy. In this study we determined the effects of aging, temperature, aerobiosis, starvation, and antibiotics on the morphologic conversion rate and culturability of H. pylori. Aerobiosis and the addition of a bactericidal antibiotic to the culture medium resulted in the highest conversion rate. During the conversion to coccoid forms, the cultures always lost culturability at the stage where 50% of the organisms were still in bacillary form; this result indicated that culturability and coccoid morphology are two separate but related entities. Independent of the conditions used to induce the conversion into coccoids, the morphological conversion was accompanied by several marked antigenic and ultrastructural changes. Also, both the total amounts and the integrity of RNA and DNA were significantly reduced in coccoid forms. With the potential-sensitive probe diOC(5)-3, a clear loss of membrane potential in coccoid forms was observed. Inhibition of protein or RNA synthesis by the addition of bacteriostatic antibiotics did not prevent the conversion to coccoid forms but resulted in an increased conversion rate. Hence, we conclude that conversion of H. pylori from the bacillary to the coccoid form is a passive process that does not require protein synthesis. Our data suggest that the coccoid form of H. pylori is the morphologic manifestation of bacterial cell death.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (908K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Benaissa M, Babin P, Quellard N, Pezennec L, Cenatiempo Y, Fauchère JL. Changes in Helicobacter pylori ultrastructure and antigens during conversion from the bacillary to the coccoid form. Infect Immun. 1996 Jun;64(6):2331–2335. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Berry V, Jennings K, Woodnutt G. Bactericidal and morphological effects of amoxicillin on Helicobacter pylori. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Aug;39(8):1859–1861. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bode G, Malfertheiner P, Ströhle A, Mauch F, Nilius M, Ditschuneit H. Polymorphismus bei Helicobacter pylori--Schlüsselfunktion für Infektionsrezidive? Med Klin (Munich) 1992 Apr 15;87(4):179–184. [PubMed]
  • Bode G, Mauch F, Malfertheiner P. The coccoid forms of Helicobacter pylori. Criteria for their viability. Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Dec;111(3):483–490. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Boucher SN, Slater ER, Chamberlain AH, Adams MR. Production and viability of coccoid forms of Campylobacter jejuni. J Appl Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;77(3):303–307. [PubMed]
  • Buck GE. Campylobacter pylori and gastroduodenal disease. Clin Microbiol Rev. 1990 Jan;3(1):1–12. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bukanov NO, Berg DE. Ordered cosmid library and high-resolution physical-genetic map of Helicobacter pylori strain NCTC11638. Mol Microbiol. 1994 Feb;11(3):509–523. [PubMed]
  • Catrenich CE, Makin KM. Characterization of the morphologic conversion of Helicobacter pylori from bacillary to coccoid forms. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1991;181:58–64. [PubMed]
  • Cellini L. Coccoid forms of Helicobacter pylori. J Infect Dis. 1996 May;173(5):1288–1289. [PubMed]
  • Cellini L, Allocati N, Di Campli E, Dainelli B. Helicobacter pylori: a fickle germ. Microbiol Immunol. 1994;38(1):25–30. [PubMed]
  • Cellini L, Allocati N, Angelucci D, Iezzi T, Di Campli E, Marzio L, Dainelli B. Coccoid Helicobacter pylori not culturable in vitro reverts in mice. Microbiol Immunol. 1994;38(11):843–850. [PubMed]
  • Chan WY, Hui PK, Leung KM, Chow J, Kwok F, Ng CS. Coccoid forms of Helicobacter pylori in the human stomach. Am J Clin Pathol. 1994 Oct;102(4):503–507. [PubMed]
  • Cole SP, Cirillo D, Kagnoff MF, Guiney DG, Eckmann L. Coccoid and spiral Helicobacter pylori differ in their abilities to adhere to gastric epithelial cells and induce interleukin-8 secretion. Infect Immun. 1997 Feb;65(2):843–846. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eaton KA, Catrenich CE, Makin KM, Krakowka S. Virulence of coccoid and bacillary forms of Helicobacter pylori in gnotobiotic piglets. J Infect Dis. 1995 Feb;171(2):459–462. [PubMed]
  • Hazeleger WC, Janse JD, Koenraad PM, Beumer RR, Rombouts FM, Abee T. Temperature-dependent membrane fatty acid and cell physiology changes in coccoid forms of Campylobacter jejuni. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Jul;61(7):2713–2719. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Laemmli UK. Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature. 1970 Aug 15;227(5259):680–685. [PubMed]
  • NG LK, Sherburne R, Taylor DE, Stiles ME. Morphological forms and viability of Campylobacter species studied by electron microscopy. J Bacteriol. 1985 Oct;164(1):338–343. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Moran AP, Upton ME. A comparative study of the rod and coccoid forms of Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 29428. J Appl Bacteriol. 1986 Feb;60(2):103–110. [PubMed]
  • Moran AP, Upton ME. Factors affecting production of coccoid forms by Campylobacter jejuni on solid media during incubation. J Appl Bacteriol. 1987 Jun;62(6):527–537. [PubMed]
  • Nilius M, Ströhle A, Bode G, Malfertheiner P. Coccoid like forms (CLF) of Helicobacter pylori. Enzyme activity and antigenicity. Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1993 Sep;280(1-2):259–272. [PubMed]
  • Shahamat M, Mai U, Paszko-Kolva C, Kessel M, Colwell RR. Use of autoradiography to assess viability of Helicobacter pylori in water. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Apr;59(4):1231–1235. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Siegele DA, Kolter R. Life after log. J Bacteriol. 1992 Jan;174(2):345–348. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Simoons-Smit IM, Appelmelk BJ, Verboom T, Negrini R, Penner JL, Aspinall GO, Moran AP, Fei SF, Shi BS, Rudnica W, et al. Typing of Helicobacter pylori with monoclonal antibodies against Lewis antigens in lipopolysaccharide. J Clin Microbiol. 1996 Sep;34(9):2196–2200. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sörberg M, Nilsson M, Hanberger H, Nilsson LE. Morphologic conversion of Helicobacter pylori from bacillary to coccoid form. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1996 Mar;15(3):216–219. [PubMed]
  • Unidentified curved bacilli on gastric epithelium in active chronic gastritis. Lancet. 1983 Jun 4;1(8336):1273–1275. [PubMed]
  • West AP, Millar MR, Tompkins DS. Survival of Helicobacter pylori in water and saline. J Clin Pathol. 1990 Jul;43(7):609–609. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Infection and Immunity are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...