Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2003
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Hamir, A.N., Stasko, J.A., Rupprecht, C.E. 2004. Observation of Helicobacter-like organisms in gastric mucosa of grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and bobcats (Lynx rufus). Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. 68(2):154-156.
Interpretive Summary: Examination of tissue samples of stomach of raccoons, porcupines, gray foxes, bobcats, skunks, and black bears was done for evidence of bacterial (Helicobacter-like) organisms. Presence of such organisms was observed in only the gray foxes and bobcats. Laboratory tests revealed presence of characteristic long spiral-shaped organisms within lumina of glands and occasionally within the cells of the stomach. Two different types of organisms were identified. In bobcats the organisms appeared to be more tightly coiled than the ones present in gray foxes. Such bacteria are known to cause gastrointestinal disease in humans and animals. However, they have not previously been described in stomach of either gray foxes or bobcats.
Technical Abstract: Microscopic examination of gastric mucosa of raccoons (Procyon lotor), porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcats (Lynx rufus), skunks (Mephitis mephitis), and black bears (Ursus amaricanus) was done on archival tissue blocks for evidence of Helicobacter-like organisms. Presence of such organisms was seen in gray foxes and bobcats. Histopathological, histochemical, and ultrastructural findings are described in these animals. Neither gross or microscopic lesions were observed in the gastric mucosa. Histochemical stains (modified Steiner, and carbol fuchsin) revealed presence of characteristic long spiral-shaped organisms within lumina of gastric glands. Electron microscopically (EM), the organisms were found to be free in the glandular lumina and occasionally were seen in the cytoplasm of gastric epithelial cells. Morphologically, 2 different types of spirochetes were identified by EM. In bobcats the organisms appeared to be more tightly coiled than the ones present in gray foxes. To our knowledge Helicobacter-like organisms have not previously been described in gastric mucosa of either gray foxes or bobcats.