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Vet Pathol. 2000 Nov;37(6):589-96.

Gastritis and intestinal metaplasia in Syrian hamsters infected with Helicobacter aurati and two other microaerobes.

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  • 1Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


Chronic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia associated with naturally occurring colonization by Helicobacter aurati and two other microaerobic species were observed in Syrian hamsters. Thirty-five hamsters, between 7 and 12 months of age, were evaluated from two research and three commercial facilities. Microaerobic bacteria were cultured from the hamster stomachs. These bacteria included H. aurati, a fusiform, urease-positive species; a second novel helical, urease-negative Helicobacter sp.; as well as a smaller, urease-negative Campylobacter sp. Southern blot analysis detected Helicobacter spp. DNA in the gastric tissues of all 35 hamsters; 15 hamsters also had Campylobacter sp. DNA in their gastric tissues. When examined by light microscopy, argyrophilic bacteria consistent with H. aurati or the second Helicobacter sp. were present in antral sections of 12 out of the 15 hamsters where bacteria were seen, while 9 out of the 15 hamsters had bacteria resembling the Campylobacter sp. The presence of Helicobacter spp. but not the presence of Campylobacter sp. was significantly correlated to gastritis severity (P < 0.0001 for Helicobacter spp., P = 0.6025 for Campylobacter sp.) and intestinal metaplasia, as measured by numbers of goblet cells (P = 0.0239 for Helicobacter spp., P = 0.5525 for Campylobacter sp.). Severely affected hamsters also had Giardia sp. within their metaplastic gastric pits. Hamsters with naturally occurring helicobacter-associated gastritis provide a model for studying the development of intestinal metaplasia and gastric giardiasis in H. pylori-infected humans.

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