Submitted to: Veterinary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 19, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Arcobacter spp. are a new group of bacteria. They are closely related to Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium thought to cause stomach infections in humans, and to Campylobacter jejuni, which causes infection of the intestines in humans. Arcobacter spp. have been implicated in human and in animal disease and are found in clinically healthy animals. Little is known about the distribution of Arcobacter in livestock. We conducted a survey to determine the prevalence of Helicobacter in swine stomachs. We found Helicobacter and Arcobacter spp. in 51% of pig stomachs, with Arcobacter butzleri being detected most often. These findings provide information to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on the possible distribution of Arcobacter in pigs. Ultimately, USDA and state regulatory agencies may use this information to formulate strategies for reduction of potential zoonotic foodborne pathogens.
Swine stomachs were surveyed for evidence of Arcobacter spp. and Helicobacter spp. infections associated with gastric ulceration. A nested PCR test targeted to the 16S rRNA was developed that could detect many Arcobacter spp. and Helicobacter spp. An internal oligo probe was used for differentiation and confirmation of the PCR product. The stomach tissue samples were obtained for the nonglandular and glandular regions of the 86 swine stomachs examined, 51.2% had evidence of infection with these microbes, with 79.5% of the positive samples being identified as A. butzleri using a highly specific probe. Samples tested by PCR were more likely to be positive from the nonglandular samples (44.2%) than from the glandular (23.3%) region. Gross lesions of any stage of gastric ulceration, ranging from parakeratosis, erosions and ulceration, were observed in 24.4% of stomachs examined. Of 21 samples with lesions, 52.4% were positive and 47.6% were negative by th broadly reactive PCR assay for Arcobacter spp. and Helicobacter spp. The majority of PCR-positive samples (75%), had no gross lesions.