Molecular evidence of Helicobacter cinaedi organisms in human gastric biopsy specimens

J. A. Peña, K. McNeil, J. G. Fox, James Versalovic

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27 Scopus citations


One hundred twenty-six urease-negative gastric biopsy specimens were evaluated for the presence of Helicobacter genus-specific 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and H. pylori-specific glmM DNA sequences by PCR. The species specificity of the glmM PCR assay was demonstrated, as H. pylori was the only Helicobacter species that yielded the expected glmM amplicon. Most urease-negative specimens (118 of 126 specimens) lacked Helicobacter DNA. However, 8 of 126 urease-negative specimens contained Helicobacter 16S rDNA. In order to identify the Helicobacter species present in urease-negative gastric biopsy specimens, 16S rDNA amplicons were cloned and sequenced. Sequence comparisons were performed by analyses of the sequences in public sequence databases. Two samples contained 16S rDNA that was identified as H. cinaedi with 100% identity and that spanned approximately 400 bp (398 and 398 bp, respectively). In contrast, multiple differences (97% identity; 390 of 398 bp) were observed with H. pylori 16S rDNA in this region. This finding was verified by sequencing an overlapping 537-bp fragment within the 5' portion of 16S rDNA. Although the clinical findings were consistent with H. pylori infection (e.g., duodenal ulcer disease), rapid urease testing and DNA sequence analyses suggested the presence of H. cinaedi organisms and the absence of H. pylori in two human antral biopsy specimens. This study represents the first report of an enteric urease-negative helicobacter in the human stomach. Although these organisms were previously associated with extragastric infections, the roles of these organisms in the pathogenesis of chronic gastritis or peptic ulcer disease remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1511-1513
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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