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Vet Pathol. 1993 Jan;30(1):55-63.

Epizootic gastritis associated with gastric spiral bacilli in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus).

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus.


An outbreak of vomiting in a group of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) was investigated, and histologic examination revealed chronic gastritis characterized by infiltration of lymphocytes and numerous plasma cells and epithelial erosions. Lymphoid follicles, globule leukocytes, scattered neutrophils, and (in one animal) abscessed gastric glands were inconsistent findings. In addition, necropsy of three cheetahs revealed gastric mucosal hyperplasia. Two kinds of bacteria were identified in the stomachs of infected cheetahs. Numerous long, tightly coiled motile Gastrospirillum-like organisms were seen in gastric mucus and in Warthin-Starry-stained sections of mucosa. These bacteria could not be cultured but were transmitted to conventional mice in homogenates of gastric mucosa from infected cheetahs. Ultrastructural examination revealed helical filaments on some of these bacteria. In addition, a smaller Helicobacter sp. was isolated. This organism could be cultured in vitro under microaerophilic conditions. One or both of these bacterial species was probably responsible for the gastritis in these cheetahs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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