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Vet Pathol. 1998 May;35(3):202-8.

Inflammatory large bowel disease in immunodeficient rats naturally and experimentally infected with Helicobacter bilis.

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  • 1Pathology/Histotechnology Laboratory, Science Applications International Corporation, National Cancer Institute/Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA.


Proliferative and ulcerative typhlitis, colitis, and proctitis were found incidentally in a breeding colony of male athymic nude (Cr:NIH-rnu) rats. Within the crypts of the large intestine, modified Steiner's silver stain revealed spiral organisms that were identified by culture, polymerase chain reaction, and sequencing to be Helicobacter bilis. The large bowel disease was reproduced in H. bilis-free male athymic nude rats that were injected intraperitoneally with a culture of H. bilis from the affected colony. The organism was isolated from the feces and cecum of the experimentally infected rats. H. bilis should be considered a potential pathogen in immunocompromised rats. The infection in immunocompromised rats may serve as an animal model for inflammatory large bowel disease.

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