Helicobacter pylori uses motility for initial colonization and to attain robust infection

Infect Immun. 2002 Apr;70(4):1984-90. doi: 10.1128/IAI.70.4.1984-1990.2002.


Helicobacter pylori has been shown to require flagella for infection of the stomach. To analyze whether flagella themselves or motility is needed by these pathogens, we constructed flagellated nonmotile mutants. This was accomplished by using both an insertion mutant and an in-frame deletion of the motB gene. In vitro, these mutants retain flagella (Fla(+)) but are nonmotile (Mot(-)). By using FVB/N mice, we found that these mutants had reduced ability to infect mice in comparison to that of their isogenic wild-type counterparts. When these mutants were coinfected with wild type, we were unable to detect any motB mutant. Finally, by analyzing the 50% infectious dose, we found that motility is needed for initial colonization of the stomach mucosa. These results support a model in which motility is used for the initial colonization of the stomach and also to attain full infection levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Movement
  • Stomach / microbiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • MotB protein, Bacteria
  • Flagellin
  • flaB flagellin