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Genome sequence of Helicobacter suis supports its role in gastric pathology

Miet Vermoote1*, Tom Theo Marie Vandekerckhove2, Bram Flahou1, Frank Pasmans1, Annemieke Smet1, Dominic De Groote3, Wim Van Criekinge2, Richard Ducatelle1 and Freddy Haesebrouck1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium

2 Laboratory for Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

3 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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Veterinary Research 2011, 42:51  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-51

Published: 17 March 2011


Helicobacter (H.) suis has been associated with chronic gastritis and ulcers of the pars oesophagea in pigs, and with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma in humans. In order to obtain better insight into the genes involved in pathogenicity and in the specific adaptation to the gastric environment of H. suis, a genome analysis was performed of two H. suis strains isolated from the gastric mucosa of swine. Homologs of the vast majority of genes shown to be important for gastric colonization of the human pathogen H. pylori were detected in the H. suis genome. H. suis encodes several putative outer membrane proteins, of which two similar to the H. pylori adhesins HpaA and HorB. H. suis harbours an almost complete comB type IV secretion system and members of the type IV secretion system 3, but lacks most of the genes present in the cag pathogenicity island of H. pylori. Homologs of genes encoding the H. pylori neutrophil-activating protein and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase were identified in H. suis. H. suis also possesses several other presumptive virulence-associated genes, including homologs for mviN, the H. pylori flavodoxin gene, and a homolog of the H. pylori vacuolating cytotoxin A gene. It was concluded that although genes coding for some important virulence factors in H. pylori, such as the cytotoxin-associated protein (CagA), are not detected in the H. suis genome, homologs of other genes associated with colonization and virulence of H. pylori and other bacteria are present.