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Lab Anim Sci. 1996 Apr;46(2):193-7.

Evaluation of various oral antimicrobial formulations for eradication of Helicobacter hepaticus.

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


Helicobacter hepaticus colonizes the cecum and colon of several strains of mice from a variety of commercial suppliers, persistently infects mice, causes chronic hepatitis, is linked to hepatic tumors in A/JCr mice, and has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease of athymic and scid mice. For this reason, eradication of the organism from infected mouse colonies is desirable. We recently reported that amoxicillin or tetracycline-based triple therapy (amoxicillin or tetracycline in combination with metronidazole and bismuth) given by oral gavage 3 times daily for 2 weeks eradicated H. hepaticus in 8- to 10-week-old A/JCr mice. To establish a more convenient therapy regimen for eradicating H. hepaticus, we evaluated water and dietary administration of various antibiotic combinations in A/JCr and DBA/2 mice naturally infected with H. hepaticus. The A/JCr male mice received amoxicillin-based triple therapy in drinking water or by oral gavage, or received tetracycline-based triple therapy in the drinking water. The DBA/2J female mice received amoxicillin-based triple therapy in a specially formulated dietary wafer or by oral gavage, or received enrofloxacin in drinking water. All treatments were given for a 2-week period. Control animals received no treatment. One month after treatment, H. hepaticus was recovered from the liver, cecum, or colon of A/JCr control mice and mice receiving amoxicillin- or tetracycline-based triple therapy in drinking water but not in mice receiving amoxicillin-based triple therapy by oral gavage. Helicobacter hepaticus was not recovered from DBA/2J mice receiving amoxicillin-based triple therapy in dietary wafer or by oral gavage but was recovered from control mice and 7 of 10 mice receiving enrofloxacin in drinking water. Results indicate that amoxicillin-based triple therapy administered in the diet or by oral gavage is effective in eradicating H. hepaticus. Antibiotics administered in the water, however, were not effective in eradicating the organism.

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