High prevalence of DNA from non-H. pylori helicobacters in the gastric mucosa of Venezuelan pet dogs and its histological alterations.
ABSTRACT Non-H. pylori helicobacters (NHPH) have been demonstrated as gastric spiral-shaped bacteria in specimens obtained from dogs; however, their roles in the pathogenesis of upper gastrointestinal disease have not yet been clearly established. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of NHPH DNA in the gastric mucosa of dogs and its association with histopathology. Helicobacter was detected through histopathological techniques, PCR, and FISH analysis from fundic biopsies of twenty dogs with or without signs of gastrointestinal disease. PCR and FISH were based on partial 16S rRNA gene sequences. Nineteen dogs showed mild to marked gastritis in the fundus, and only one dog had a healthy gastric mucosa. NHPH DNA was detected in 18 dogs with gastritis and one with normal gastric mucosa. However, there was no significant correlation between the presence of NHPH DNA and the degree of gastritis. These results show a high prevalence of NHPH DNA in the gastric mucosa of dogs from Venezuela. Further studies are necessary to determine a possible association between a specific NHPH species and the degree of gastritis.