Immunization of BALB/c mice against Helicobacter felis infection with Helicobacter pylori urease

Gastroenterology. 1994 Oct;107(4):1002-11. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(94)90224-0.


Background/aims: Because Helicobacter pylori is a potentially dangerous human pathogen, the protective potential of oral immunization with H. pylori urease and its subunits was evaluated in an animal model.

Methods: Mice were orally immunized with H. pylori sonicate, urease, or recombinant enzymatically inactive urease subunits and then challenged with Helicobacter felis. Control mice were sham-immunized.

Results: H. felis colonization was present 5 days after challenge in 9 of 10 sham-immunized, 6 of 9 sonicate-immunized, and 3 of 10 urease-immunized animals (P = 0.031 vs. sham-immunized). Twelve days after challenge, urease B-immunized mice had a weaker colonization than sham-immunized controls, whereas urease A had no effect. After 70 days, most urease A- and urease B-immunized mice had cleared the colonization (10/17: P = 0.0019; 16/20: P = 0.00002 vs. sham-immunized). In urease B-immunized animals, protection was often associated with corpus gastritis.

Conclusions: Oral immunization with H. pylori urease protects mice against H. felis infection. Enzymatically inactive urease A and B subunits contain protective epitopes. It is unclear whether protection depends on the development of a mononuclear inflammatory response in the gastric corpus. Our observations should encourage the development of a human vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Female
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control*
  • Helicobacter pylori / enzymology*
  • Immunization*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Stomach / pathology
  • Urease / administration & dosage
  • Urease / classification
  • Urease / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Urease