Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Helicobacter spp

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson, Melissa Kennedy, James Simpson




  • Family: Spirillaceae.
  • Genus: Helicobacter.

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Clinical Effects



  • Clinical diseases in dogs and cats are unclear compared with man.
  • Has been associated with gastritis in animals; infection is often subclinical.


  • Helicobacter felis and Helicobacter helimanniif ound in humans and animals.
  • Cross infection between species possible but not proven.
  • Helicobacter pylori has been found in cats.
  • Human-human spread of Helicobacter pylori much more likely.


  • Helicobacter spp found in oral cavity and feces.
  • Transmission thought to occur by oral-oral or fecal-oral routes.

Pathological effects

  • Only Helicobacter pylori proven to be pathogenic in humans.
  • Isolated from gastric mucosa and gastric crypts in humans; cause of antral gastritis. May have role in etiology of gastric and duodenal ulcers, atrophic gastritis, adenocarcinoma.
  • Helicobacter pylori now classified as a World Health Organisation class I carcinogen, involved in the etiology of gastric adenocarcinoma formation.
  • Helicobacter-like organisms isolated from stomach of dogs, cats, ferrets and cheetahs. Most infections asymptomatic.
  • Helicobacter felis (cats/dogs), Helicobacter mustelate (ferrets), and Helicobacter acinonyx (cheetahs).
  • Helicobacter canis - isolated from liver of a dog with multifocal hepatitis.

Other Host Effects

  • Signs:
    • Pica.
    • Chronic vomiting (may be intermittent).
    • Belching.
    • May have anorexia.
    • May have diarrhea.
  • Helicobacter helimannii - previously known as Gastrospiridium spp.


Control via chemotherapies


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Fox J G, Drolet R, Higgins R et al (1996) Helicobacter canis isolated from a dog liver with multifocal necrotizing hepatitis. J Clin Microbiol 34 (10), 2479-2482 PubMed.
  • Tennant B (1996) Scientific information document Helicobacter pylori. JSAP 37 (12), 609-610 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Fox J G (1995) Helicobacter disease in ferrets, dogs and cats. In: Current Veterinary Therapy. Philadelphia: W B Saunders & Co. pp 720.