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Lab Anim. 2006 Jul;40(3):282-7.

Low frequency of Helicobacter species in the stomachs of experimental rabbits.

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Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


The natural occurrence of established Helicobacter species was investigated in the stomachs of 65 laboratory rabbits, by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (65/65) and histological analysis (51/65). The degree of inflammation in the different regions of the rabbits' stomach was evaluated on haematoxylin and eosin (HE)-stained histological slides. Four rabbits were found positive for Helicobacter species by PCR. Based on 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequences, H. canadensis/H. pullorum organisms were identified in three animals. Bacteria were seen on merely one histological slide from one of these animals. H. felis was identified in one rabbit. Histological examination revealed no inflammation in the stomachs of 40 rabbits, while moderate gastric inflammation was seen in 11 animals, mainly in the antrum. In conclusion, the stomach of the laboratory rabbits included in the study was occasionally found positive for Helicobacter species, which were mostly identified as enterohepatic helicobacters, probably reflecting a mere passage of these bacteria through the stomach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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