Helicobacter pylori and Other Gastric Spirilla: Similarities and Differences

  • A. Lee
  • J. Fox
Conference paper


Microbiologists interested in the microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract have traditionally ignored the stomach. Due to the harsh environment resulting from acid secretion, conditions were considered to be hostile to permanent colonization by bacteria although it was accepted bacteria could survive passage into the lower bowel. An exception was the work of Savage (1980), who showed the gastric mucosa of rodents to be permanently colonized with acid-tolerant lactobacilli and yeasts. However, the isolation of Helicobacter pylori and its association with gastroduodenal disease has focussed interest on bacteria in the stomach and it is now clear that many animal species have similar bacteria colonizing their gastric surfaces, i.e. humans, dogs, cheetahs, cats, monkeys, ferrets, rats (Lee 1989a). One characteristic of the microbial ecology of harsh environments is so called low species diversity; that is, very low numbers of species are present at any one time (Alexander 1971). This is a consequence of the need for specialized adaptations being required to live in that site. This is certainly so in the stomach where usually one and at the most three bacterial species are found together. Thus most animals with bacteria inhabiting the gastric mucus have only one species present. In humans the species normally present is H. pylori. As more bacteria are isolated from other animal species it is important to compare their properties with H. pylori in order to be better able to identify those factors that are essential for gastric colonization and those which might be involved in the initiation of gastroduodenal disease.


Gastric Mucosa Gastric Mucus Gastroduodenal Disease Lymphoid Nodule Lower Bowel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander M (1971) Microbial ecology. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Curry A, Jones DM, Skelton-Stoud P (1989) Novel ultrastructural findings in a helical bacterium found in the baboon (Papio anubis) stomach. J Gen Microbiol 135:2223–2231Google Scholar
  3. Dent JC, McNulty CAM, Uff JS, Wilkinson SP, Gear MWL (1987) Spiral organisms in the gastric antrum. Lancet II:96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dick E, Lee A, Watson G, O’Rourke J (1989) Use of the mouse for the isolation and investigation of stomach-associated, spiral-helical shaped bacteria from man and other animals. J Med Microbiol 29:55–62PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fox JG, Edrise BM, Cabot EB, Beaucoge C, Murphy JC, Prostak KS (1986) Campylobacter-like organisms isolated from gastric mucosa of ferrets. Am J Vet Res 47:236–239PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Goodwin CS, Armstrong JA, Chilverts T, Peters M, Collins MD, Sly L, McConnell W, Harper WES (1989) Transfer of Campylobacter pylori and Campylobacter mustelae to Campylobacter gen. nov. as Campylobacter pylori comb. nov. and Campylobacter mustelae comb. nov. respectively. Int J Syst Bacteriol 39(4):397–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Henry GA, Long PH, Burns JL, Charbonneau DL (1987) Gastric spirillosis in beagles. Am J Vet Res 48:831–836PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Krakowka S, Morgan DM, Kraft WG, Leunk RD (1987) Establishment of gastric Campylobacter pylori infection in the neonatal gnotobiotic piglet. Infect Immun 55:2789–2796PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Lambert JR, Borromeo KJ, Pinkard H, Turner CB, Smith ML (1987) Colonisation of gnotobiotic piglets with Campylobacter pyloridis - an animal model? J Infect Dis 155:1344PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lee A (1989 a) C. pylori and CLO in animals. Overview of mucus colonizing organisms. In: Rathbone B, Heatley V (eds) Campylobacter pylori and gastroduodenal disease. Blackwell, Oxford, pp:246–260Google Scholar
  11. Lee A (1989 b) Human gastric spirilla other than C. pylori. In: Blaser M (ed) Campylobacter pylori in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Igaku-Shoin, New York:225–240Google Scholar
  12. Lee A, Hazell SL (1988) Campylobacter pylori in health and disease: an ecological perspective. Microbiol Ecol Health Dis 1:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee A, Hazell SL, O’Rourke J, Kouprach S (1988) Isolation of a spiral-shaped bacterium from the cat stomach. Infect Immun 56:2843–2850PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee A, Eckstein RP, Fevre DI, Dick E, Kellow JE (1989) Non Campylobacter pylori spiral organisms in the gastric antrum. Aust NZ J Med 19:156–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McNulty CAM, Dent JC, Curry A, Uff JS, Ford GA, Gera MWL, Wilkinson SP (1989) New spiral bacterium in gastric mucosa. J Clin Pathol 42:585–591PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Newell DG, Hudson MJ, Baskerville (1988) Isolation of a gastric campylobacter-like organism from the stomach of four rhesus monkeys, and identification as Campylobacter pylori. J Med Microbiol 27:41–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rivera E, Luqueno V, Clava JJ, Ruiz-Palacios GM (1989) Exposure to swine, a risk factor for human Campylobacter pylori infection (abstract PI-45). Vth International Workshop on Campylobacter infections, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 25th February-1 March 1989Google Scholar
  18. Romaniuk PJ, Zo Howaska B, Trust TK, Lane DJ, Olsen GJ, Pace NR, Stahl DA (1987) Campylobacter pylori, a spiral bacterium associated with human gastritis, is not a true Campylobacter. spp J Bacteriol 169:2137–2141Google Scholar
  19. Savage DC (1980) Adherence of normal flora to mucosal surfaces. In: Beachey EH (ed) Bacterial adherence. Chapman and Hall, London, pp:33–49Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lee
  • J. Fox

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations