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J Gen Microbiol. 1993 Oct;139(10):2495-504.

Helicobacter canis sp. nov., a new species from dogs: an integrated study of phenotype and genotype.

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


A group of Campylobacter-like organisms (CLOs) were isolated from the faeces of diarrhoeic or healthy dogs, constituting 4% of all CLOs from this source. Since they formed a unique DNA homology group within the genus Helicobacter, and exhibited distinctive phenotypic properties, they were collectively termed the HC group. A polyphasic taxonomic analysis was made of this group. The phenotype of four dog isolates and a single human isolate was unique and could be distinguished bacteriologically from other helicobacters. Electron microscopic ultrastructure revealed defining characteristics of Helicobacter. The 16S rRNA gene of the nominated type strain NCTC 12739T was sequenced, and its analysis delineated the group as a new species of Helicobacter. This conclusion was supported by relative DNA homology and whole-cell protein electrophoretic patterns. We therefore propose the name Helicobacter canis sp. nov. for this group. The species most closely related to H. canis sp. nov. were H. cinaedi, 'Flexispira rappini' and H. fennelliae. A species-specific recombinant DNA probe was cloned from NCTC 12739T for use in routine laboratory identification and epidemiological studies. The faecal source, bile tolerance and lack of urease activity of H. canis sp. nov. suggest that this new Helicobacter species colonizes the lower bowel rather than the stomach.

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