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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2009 Apr;22(2):202-23, Table of Contents. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00041-08.

Gastric helicobacters in domestic animals and nonhuman primates and their significance for human health.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Helicobacters other than Helicobacter pylori have been associated with gastritis, gastric ulcers, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma in humans. These very fastidious microorganisms with a typical large spiral-shaped morphology were provisionally designated "H. heilmannii," but in fact they comprise at least five different Helicobacter species, all of which are known to colonize the gastric mucosa of animals. H. suis, which has been isolated from the stomachs of pigs, is the most prevalent gastric non-H. pylori Helicobacter species in humans. Other gastric non-H. pylori helicobacters colonizing the human stomach are H. felis, H. salomonis, H. bizzozeronii, and the still-uncultivable "Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii." These microorganisms are often detected in the stomachs of dogs and cats. "Candidatus Helicobacter bovis" is highly prevalent in the abomasums of cattle but has only occasionally been detected in the stomachs of humans. There are clear indications that gastric non-H. pylori Helicobacter infections in humans originate from animals, and it is likely that transmission to humans occurs through direct contact. Little is known about the virulence factors of these microorganisms. The recent successes with in vitro isolation of non-H. pylori helicobacters from domestic animals open new perspectives for studying these microorganisms and their interactions with the host.

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