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Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 1997;139(11):507-16.

[The occurrence of spiral-shaped bacteria in the abomasum of cattle].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Wiederkäuer- und Pferdemedizin, Universität Zürich.


The goal of this study was to determine whether Helicobacter pylori or similar bacteria are present in the abomasum of cows. The abomasa of 112 clinically healthy cows were examined at slaughter. Prior to macroscopic examination, samples for bacteriological and histological examination were obtained from the fundus and from the pylorus. Bacteriological examination of the abomasal mucosa included the urease test, the microscopic examination of a Gram's stained smear, and culture on various solid media. Samples from the pylorus (63) were more often positive in the urease test than those from the fundus (35). Examination of Gram's stained smears revealed two groups of suspicious microorganisms; spiral-shaped and rod-shaped bacteria, whereby the latter could not be differentiated morphologically from Helicobacter pylori. Spiral-shaped bacteria were more often isolated from the pylorus (101 samples) than from the fundus (30 samples). The bacteria that resembled Helicobacter pylori were found in seven samples from the pylorus and in seven samples from the fundus. Helicobacter pylori was not cultured in any of the abomasal samples. Tissue samples from the fundus and pylorus were stained with hemalum and eosin and with silver according to Warthin-Starry. All but one abomasum had diffuse infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells. Lymphocytic follicles were observed in 109 abomasa. Neutrophils were seen in four abomasa, eosinophils in 37 and parasitic lesions in 20. As in the Gram's stained smears, spiral-shaped and rod-shaped bacteria were seen in silver-stained smears. Spiral-shaped bacteria were found in the pylorus of 96 abomasa and in the fundus and pylorus of one abomasum. The rod-shaped bacteria could not be differentiated from Helicobacter pylori by light microscopy. They were seen in glandular lumina of the superficial region of the mucosa in 97 abomasa. They were limited to the pylorus and fundus in 16 and 59 cases, respectively, and occurred in both these areas in 23 cases. The results of this study indicate that spiral-shaped bacteria may be found frequently in the bovine abomasum. Further investigations are required to determine whether these bacteria are associated with the inflammatory lesions that were observed and whether they play a role in the pathogenesis of abomasal ulcers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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