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Comparison of three diagnostic assays for the identification of Helicobacter spp. in laboratory dogs


A number of Helicobacter species may confound experimental data because of their association with disease progressing in various kinds of laboratory animals. Screening of Helicobacter species is particularly desirable, because they are prevalent in commercial and research animal facilities. The aim of the present study was to compare three diagnostic methods [e.g. Helicobacter stool antigen kit (HpSA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid urease test (RUT)] for the identification of Helicobacter spp. in stools or gastric biopsy specimens collected from eight dogs suffering from gastritis. The gastroscopic biopsy specimens were tested using RUT and PCR, while stool specimens were evaluated using both HpSA and PCR. DNAs from the gastric biopsies and stool specimens were analyzed by both a consensus PCR that amplified the RNA polymerase beta-subunit-coding gene (rpoB) of Helicobacter spp. and a species-specific PCR to amplify the urease B gene of Helicobacter heilmannii, Helicobacter pylori, and Helicobacter felis. Helicobacter spp. were detected in 62.5% of the dogs, while H. heilmannii and H. felis were identified in 37.5 and 25% of the dogs, respectively. The HpSA did not efficiently detect Helicobacter spp. in the stool samples compared to the RUT and PCR assays, both of which successfully detected Helicobacter spp. in the two sample types. Finally, we recommend that consensus PCR with stool specimens could be used before the species-specific PCR for identifying Helicobacter species in laboratory dogs.


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This study was supported by a Wonkwang University research grant in 2015. We wish to thank Gi-Wook Oh, (Center for Animal Resources Development, Wonkwang University) for technical support.

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Correspondence to Okjin Kim.

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Hong, S., Chung, Y., Kang, W. et al. Comparison of three diagnostic assays for the identification of Helicobacter spp. in laboratory dogs. Lab Anim Res 31, 86–92 (2015).

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  • Helicobacter
  • stool antigen kit
  • stool
  • PCR
  • dog