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Am J Vet Res. 1996 Feb;57(2):147-50.

Helicobacter mustelae-associated hypergastrinemia in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

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  • 1Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.



To determine whether ferrets naturally infected with Helicobacter mustelae were hypergastrinemic, compared with ferrets that were specific-pathogen-free (SPF) for H mustelae.


Plasma gastrin concentrations in H mustelae-infected and SPF ferrets were measured at 3 time points and compared to determine whether H mustelae was associated with hypergastrinemia.


21 H mustelae-infected ferrets and 10 SPF ferrets.


The H mustelae status of the ferrets was confirmed prior to commencement of the study. Gastric endoscopy was used to obtain gastric mucosal pinch biopsy specimens that were processed for rapid-urease assay, microaerophilic culturing, and histologic evaluation. Plasma gastrin concentrations were determined at 3 time points: baseline after a 12-hour nonfeeding period, and 30 and 60 minutes after oral administration of a standardized meal. Gastrin was measured by radioimmunoassay.


The results for the H mustelae-infected group (mean +/- SEM pg/ml) were: baseline, 54.4 +/- 2.56; 30 minutes, 94.5 +/- 6.05; and 60 minutes, 82.6 +/- 5.73. The SPF group results were: baseline, 55.8 +/- 7.35; 30 minutes, 80.8 +/- 5.77; and 60 minutes, 59.7 +/- 4.95. There was a significant (P < 0.01) difference at the 60-minute time point between the 2 groups of animals. The H mustelae group had a 17% higher mean gastrin value at 30 minutes.


Helicobacter mustelae is associated with hypergastrinemia in ferrets.


Helicobacter-induced hypergastrinemia may be related to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease in ferrets.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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