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Vet Pathol. 1995 Mar;32(2):134-9.

Higher incidence of Gastrospirillum sp. in swine with gastric ulcer of the pars oesophagea.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil.


Gastric ulcer in swine is characterized by an area of acid-peptic digestion, occurs usually in the pars oesophagea of the stomach, and has unknown etiopathogenesis. The present work was carried out to investigate the prevalence of the newly described spiral-shaped microorganism Gastrospirillum sp. ("Gastrospirillum suis") in stomachs of abattoir pigs with and without gastric ulcer. Stomachs were removed from 32 consecutive pigs presenting apparently normal mucosa and from 32 additional consecutive pigs presenting frank, chronic gastric ulcer of the pars oesophagea. Fragments of antral, oxyntic, cardiac and pars oesophagea regions were taken from each stomach and processed for histology and for identification of Gastrospirillum sp. in tissue sections. The microorganisms were identified mainly in the mucous layer and in gastric foveolas of the antral and oxyntic mucosa. Forty pigs (62.5%) were positive for Gastrospirillum sp.; among them, 27 (67.5%) had gastric ulcer, and 13 (32.5%) had no ulcer. Twenty-four pigs (37.5%) were negative for Gastrospirillum sp.; among them, five (20.8%) presented with gastric ulcer, and 19 (79.2%) had no ulcer. There was a significant difference between pigs with and without gastric ulcer in regard to the presence of Gastrospirillum sp. (P < 0.01). The spiral-shaped microorganism Gastrospirillum sp. that inhabits the stomach of pigs should be considered a possible factor connected with the etiopathogenesis of swine gastric ulcer.

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