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Microbiology. 1994 Dec;140 ( Pt 12):3441-9.

Helicobacter pullorum sp. nov.-genotype and phenotype of a new species isolated from poultry and from human patients with gastroenteritis.

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National Collection of Type Cultures, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, UK.


Campylobacter-like organisms were isolated from the liver, duodenum and caecum of broiler and layer chickens, and from humans with gastroenteritis. They formed a unique DNA homology group and a polyphasic taxonomic analysis was made of 16 strains. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene from seven of the strains identified them as belonging to a single species, within the genus Helicobacter. This conclusion was supported by the studies of relative DNA homology and of total protein electrophoretic patterns. The new species could be biochemically differentiated from other helicobacters and its ultrastructure in the electron microscope was typical of the genus except that the flagellum was not sheathed. We propose the name Helicobacter pullorum sp. nov. for this group. Like H. fennelliae or H. cinaedi it represents another non-gastric urease-negative Helicobacter species colonizing the lower bowel. Its isolation from the livers of chickens with vibrionic hepatitis is significant. We describe a species-specific PCR assay for H. pullorum sp. nov. which will facilitate its identification and further studies of its epidemiology.

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