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W97-SIMPSON: Specific identification of gastric helicobacter spp. and assessment of their pathogenicity in pet cats

Infection with several species of Helicobacter is common in cats. These spiral-shaped bacteria have been found in the stomachs of clinically healthy cats with recurrent vomiting. The relationship of helicobacter spp. to inflammation of the stomach and clinical signs such as vomiting is unresolved in cats. Some, but not all, infected cats have inflammation of the stomach, and many cats are outwardly normal despite infection. Determining whether helicobacter spp. cause disease in cats is complicated, as several species of spiral bacteria have been detected. In humans, however, this relationship has already been established and is effecting treatment. As the harmful effects of helicobacter probably depend on which species is present, specific identification of helicobacter in cats is also important as certain species detected in cats, particularly H. pylori, are associated with disease in humans. To date, the precise identification of gastric helicobacter spp. in pet cats with gastritis has been hampered by the lack of a specific and easily performed test. The purpose of the study is to develop a species-specific assay to enable the rapid and specific identification of H. pylori, H. felis, and H. heilmanii in gastric biopsies. This test would then be used to correlate the presence of individual helicobacter spp. to gastritis in cats. (Continuation of a grant awarded in 1996)


Status: Active

Year Funded: 1997

Amount awarded: $13,049

Investigator: K.W. Simpson, BVMS, PhD; Y-F Chang; P.L. McDonough; Cornell University