Transient and persistent experimental infection of nonhuman primates with Helicobacter pylori: Implications for human disease

Andre Dubois, Douglas E. Berg, Engin T. Incecik, Nancy Fiala, Lillie M. Heman-Ackah, Guillermo I. Perez-Perez, Martin J. Blaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Helicobacter pylori can establish chronic infection in the human gastric mucosa, and it is a major cause of peptic ulcer disease and a principal risk factor for gastric cancer. This creates a need for H. pylori infection models that mimic the human condition. To test the suitability of rhesus monkeys as infection models, H. pylori-free animals were inoculated intragastrically with mixtures of H. pylori strains, bacteria recovered from colonized animals were typed by arbitrarily primed PCR, and host inflammatory and immunologic responses were monitored. Among five H. pylori- free animals inoculated with a mixture of two human strains plus one monkey strain, one became persistently infected and one became only transiently infected. The recovered bacteria matched the monkey input strain in DNA fingerprint. A subsequent trial using two new human isolates and three animals that had resisted colonization by the monkey strain resulted in persistent infection in one animal and transient infection in two others. Antral gastritis, anti-H. pylori serum immunoglobulin G, and atrophy all increased, but with patterns that differed among animals. We conclude that (i) rhesus monkeys can be infected experimentally with H. pylori, (ii) individuals differ in susceptibility to particular bacterial strains, (iii) infections may be transient, and (iv) the fitness of a particular strain for a given host helps determine the consequences of exposure to that strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2885-2891
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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