Ultrastructure of another spiral organism associated with human gastritis
Campylobacter pylori may not be the only organism that causes active chronic gastritis in man. We report two cases of gastric infection with a spiral organism distinct fromC. pylori. The first patient is a 36-year-old female who presented with epigastric pain and abdominal colic present since childhood and who had 14 cats. Endoscopy was normal. The second patient kept two dogs. Histology of gastric mucosal biopsy specimens in both patients revealed active chronic gastritis, most severe in body mucosa. Giemsa stain revealed bacteria with four to eight spirals, 0.5 μm in diameter and 3–7 μm in length. The organisms had multiple sheathed flagella at the pole and smooth cell walls without axial filaments. The organisms resembled the gastric spirillum that has been seen in cats, dogs, and nonhuman primates. After antibacterial therapy with bismuth subsalicylate, amoxicillin, and metronidazole, the organisms disappeared in both patients and the gastritis healed.
UnlikeC. pylori, this new spirillum prefers to colonize gastric mucosa containing parietal cells. Whereas this type of organism is a common commensal in other mammals, it appears to be associated with and a possible cause of gastritis in humans.
Key wordsspirillum gastritis peptic ulcer Campylobacter pylori urease cats
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Dent JC, McNulty CAM, Uff JC, et al: Spiral organisms in the gastric antrum. Lancet 2:96, 1987 (letter)Google Scholar
- 4.Lim RKS: A parasitic spiral organism in the stomach of the cat. Parasitology 12:108–112, 1920Google Scholar
- 5.Bizzozero G: Sulle ghiandole tubulari del tube gastroenterico e sui rapporti del loro coll'epitelio de rivestimento della mucosa. Atti R Accad Sci Torino 28:233–251, 1892Google Scholar
- 6.Salomon H: Ueber das Spirillum des Saugetiermagens und sein Verhalten zu den Belegzellen. Centralbl Bakteriol 19:433–442, 1896Google Scholar
- 7.Krienitz W: Ueber das Auftreten von Spirochaeten verschiedener Form im Mageninhalt bei Carcinoma ventriculi. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 32:872, 1906Google Scholar
- 8.Lucet M: Sur la presence de spirochetes dans un cas de gastro-enterite hemorrhagique chez le chien. C R Acad Sci 151:260–262, 1910Google Scholar
- 9.Dubosq O, Lebailly C:Spirilla canis, n.g., n.sp., spirille de l'estomac du chien. C R Acad Sci 154:835–837, 1912Google Scholar
- 10.Kasai K, Kobayashi R: The stomach spirochete occurring in mammals. J Parasitol 1(6):1–10, 1919Google Scholar
- 12.Lee A, Dent J, Hazell S, McNulty C: Origin of spiral organisms in human gastric antrum. Lancet 1:300–301, 1988 (letter)Google Scholar