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J Clin Microbiol. 1994 May;32(5):1238-45.

Helicobacter hepaticus sp. nov., a microaerophilic bacterium isolated from livers and intestinal mucosal scrapings from mice.

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Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


A bacterium with a spiral shape and bipolar, single, sheathed flagella was isolated from the livers of mice with active, chronic hepatitis. The bacteria also colonized the cecal and colonic mucosae of mice. The bacterium grew at 37 degrees C under microaerophilic and anaerobic conditions, rapidly hydrolyzed urea, was catalase and oxidase positive, reduced nitrate to nitrite, and was resistant to cephalothin metronidazole. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the organism was classified as a novel helicobacter, Helicobacter hepaticus. This new helicobacter, like two other murine Helicobacter species, H. muridarum and "H. rappini," is an efficient colonizer of the gastrointestinal tract, but in addition, it has the pathogenic potential to elicit persistent hepatitis in mice.

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