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Comp Med. 2009 Feb;59(1):10-7.

Effects of Helicobacter infection on research: the case for eradication of Helicobacter from rodent research colonies.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Infection of mouse colonies with Helicobacter spp. has become an increasing concern for the research community. Although Helicobacter infection may cause clinical disease, investigators may be unaware that their laboratory mice are infected because the pathology of Helicobacter species is host-dependent and may not be recognized clinically. The effects of Helicobacter infections are not limited to the gastrointestinal system and can affect reproduction, the development of cancers in gastrointestinal organs and remote organs such as the breast, responses to vaccines, and other areas of research. The data we present in this review show clearly that unintentional Helicobacter infection has the potential to significantly interfere with the reliability of research studies based on murine models. Therefore, frequent screening of rodent research colonies for Helicobacter spp. and the eradication of these pathogens should be key goals of the research community.

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