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The Flagella of Helicobacter pylori: Molecular Analysis and Potential in Pathogenesis

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Basic and Clinical Aspects of Helicobacter pylori Infection

Abstract

The flagella of Helicobacter pylori are unipolar and usually number three to five per organism [1]. They are remarkable in being covered by a sheath layer, which appears relatively fluid and membrane-like judged by its electron microscopic appearance in negatively stained preparations of the organism [2]. Such flagellar sheaths are not common among bacteria; a well-known parallel is the sheathed flagellum of Vibrio cholerae, and sheathed flagella are sometimes present, although not always, in V. parahaemolyticus which appears to express alternative flagellar structures depending on its flagellar phase (multiple peritrichous-swarmer phase, or single polar-swimmer phase), apparently controlled by a developmental switch [3]. In the latter case the single polar flagellum is sheathed whereas the multiple peritrichous flagella are naked. Little is known of flagellar sheath structure composition in H. pylori; however, in V. cholerae it is beheved that the sheath is continuous with the outer membrane, and there is some evidence for the presence of outer membrane components in the sheath. There is also evidence that in Beneckea spp. and Photobacterium fischeri and in Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus [6] which also possesses sheathed flagella, the sheath is continuous with the outer membrane.

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© 1994 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Penn, C.W., Luke, C.J. (1994). The Flagella of Helicobacter pylori: Molecular Analysis and Potential in Pathogenesis. In: Gasbarrini, G., Pretolani, S. (eds) Basic and Clinical Aspects of Helicobacter pylori Infection. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-78231-2_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-78231-2_12

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-78233-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-78231-2

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