Helicobacter infection in the hepatobiliary system and hepatic lesions: a possible association in dogs
Helicobacter infection has been associated with hepatobiliary diseases in humans and animals. The aims of this study were to identify Helicobacter species in the hepatobiliary tract of dogs and to elucidate the possible association of these bacteria in liver diseases. Twenty-seven gastric and hepatobiliary samples were collected from 33 dogs with hepatic lesions and 17 dogs with no liver histological changes. Warthin-Starry staining, immunohistochemical assay, and PCR were performed to detect the presence of Helicobacter. Helicobacter genus was detected in 21.2% of the samples with hepatic lesions. The main lesion was chronic hepatitis. Immunohistochemistry revealed infection in liver (1/5) and gallbladder (1/3) 32 samples. The sequence analysis of seven amplicons of the 16S rRNA gene of Helicobacter genus from hepatobiliary samples showed 97.8 to 100% of nucleotide identity with gastric helicobacter. One amplicon of the ureA and ureB gene of Helicobacter genus from the stomach showed 89.1 to 90.7% nucleotide identity with H. heilmannii. The presence of Helicobacter genus in liver samples showing hepatic lesions suggests the involvement of these bacteria in the etiology of hepatobiliary disease in dogs. DNA sequences were similar to gastric Helicobacter species, reinforcing the hypothesis of bacterial translocation from the stomach to liver by the biliary pathway.
KeywordsCanine Helicobacter Hepatobiliary diseases Molecular biology
The authors wish to thank Dr. Annemieke Smet, Ghent University, Belgium, for positive controls of H. baculiformis, H. salomonis, and H. cynogastricus.
This study was financially supported by CNPq and Fundação Araucária, Brazil.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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