The recent isolation of Helicobacter pylori from cats obtained from a commercial supplier has potentially important public health implications. The present study investigated whether H. pylori infection was common in stray cats. Twenty-five cats were examined for the presence of H. pylori by histological examination, culture and two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Histologically, the gastric biopsy specimens from all cats showed large spiral organisms typical of H. felis and not H. pylori. Samples from 23 cats yielded bacterial growth and two had no growth. Colonies grossly similar to H. pylori were tested for catalase, oxidase, urease and Gram's stain reactions. None was H. pylori. All samples tested as positive by the Helicobacter 16S rRNA genus-specific PCR assay and only six cats and a mouse stomach infected with H. heilmannii gave positive results with the adhesin subunit A (hpaA)-specific PCR assay, which is consistent with either H. pylori or H. heilmannii. The helicobacters identified in these samples by PCR were not cultivable and hence were probably H. heilmannii. H. pylori infection is uncommon in stray cats and owning pet cats should not be a threat to public health in relation to H. pylori infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)