Acute gastritis associated with spiral organisms from cats

Dig Dis Sci. 1994 Apr;39(4):744-50. doi: 10.1007/BF02087417.


Numerous studies implicated Helicobacter pylori as one causative agent producing gastritis and dyspepsia. Recent reports focus on another bacterium, Gastrospirillum hominis, as a possible pathogen producing gastritis. We report a 30-year-old researcher who became acutely ill with epigastric pain indicative of esophagitis or peptic ulcer disease. Gastritis and a gastric ulcer were observed endoscopically. Histological examination of the gastric mucosa revealed an acute gastritis and large spiral-shaped organisms. The spiral forms were present in large quantities in the gastric mucosa of experimental animals (cats) handled by the patient in his research. Electron microscopy confirmed that the organisms from the cat and patient were morphologically identical. The patient was successfully treated with bismuth subsalicylate. His symptoms resolved and the organisms were cleared from his stomach. This study provides evidence that another bacterium, a Gastrospirillum, may cause gastritis in man and may be transmitted from animal to man.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / transmission*
  • Cats / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology
  • Gastric Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Helicobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Laboratory Infection / microbiology*
  • Laboratory Infection / transmission
  • Male
  • Stomach Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Stomach Ulcer / pathology