Host specificity of Helicobacter pylori strains and host responses in experimentally challenged nonhuman primates

Gastroenterology. 1999 Jan;116(1):90-6. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(99)70232-5.


Background & aims: The specificity of colonization by Helicobacter pylori and complex host-bacterium interactions cannot be readily examined in humans. The aim of this study was to perform such analyses in rhesus monkeys.

Methods: Four animals that had been cured of natural H. pylori colonization were challenged with a mixture of 7 strains of human origin, and bacteria recovered during periodic videogastroscopy were DNA fingerprinted.

Results: Three animals carried mixtures of several strains for 4 months, after which strain J166 predominated. In the fourth animal, only strain J238 was isolated from the earliest phase of colonization through 7 months, but strain J166 again became predominant by 10 months after the challenge. Gastritis scores and plasma gastrin and anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G titers reached levels observed in naturally colonized animals by 4 months after the challenge; however, no plasma immunoglobulin A response was observed up to 10 months.

Conclusions: These results show that (1) natural colonization does not elicit protective immunity against subsequent H. pylori challenge; (2) individuals differ in susceptibility to different H. pylori strains during initial stages of colonization; and (3) certain strains are better suited than others for long-term survival in different hosts. These observations show the complexity of H. pylori-host interactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Fasting
  • Gastrins / blood
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Species Specificity
  • Stomach / microbiology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Gastrins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G