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Helicobacter spp. in feline stomachs
Helicobacter gastritis is very common in humans thus leading to intensive investigations also in pets. This study tries to evaluate the prevalence of different types of Helicobacter spp. in the stomachs of cats as well as the humoral immune response (IgG) of cats with gastric Helicobacter spp. infection.

The Helicobacter infection status of 45 cats (12 healthy spayed/neutered cats, 9 sick cats, 24 colony cats) was determined by evaluating endoscopic gastric biopsies for urease activity, presence of Helicobacter-like organisms (HLO) on histopathology, and genus and species-specific PCR.
Serum samples were evaluated with a kinetic enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) utilizing the high molecular cell-associated protein (HM-CAP) fraction of H. felis ATCC 49179.

Seventeen of 45 cats were infected with Helicobacter spp.: `H. heilmannii` 9/17, H. felis 4/17, mixed `H. heilmannii` and H. felis 3/17, unclassified-Helicobacter spp. 7/17. H. pylori was not detected in any cat.

Kinetic ELISA results were significantly higher for infected cats, than for uninfected cats. Cats infected with different Helicobacter spp. showed similar distribution of OD/min values.
There were no effects of age or clinical signs on the results of kinetic ELISA.
No correlation between colonization density and seroconversion was observed.

There were statistically significant, but weak correlations between the degree of seroconversion and the degree of inflammation, and the number of
lymphoid follicles.

Infected cats had more severe inflammation in the pylorus and fundus than uninfected cats. Infected sick cats had a higher degree of pyloric, but not fundic inflammation, than healthy infected cats and uninfected sick cats.

The results indicate that naturally acquired infection with gastric Helicobacter spp. is associated with seroconversion (IgG) in cats. The similar ELISA values in cats infected with a variety of Helicobacter spp. suggests substantial antigenic homology between different Helicabacter
spp. The higher degree of inflammation in infected than uninfected cats, supports a role for Helicobacter as a cause of gastritis in cats.

Source: Strauss-Ayali D; Scanziani E; Deng D; Simpson KW (2001): Helicobacter spp. infection in cats: evaluation of the humoral immune response and prevalence of gastric Helicobacter spp. In:
Vet Microbiol Apr 2 2001; 79 (3) : 253-265.






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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

RET-He to diagnose iron-deficient erythropoiesis in dogsmembers
Reticulocyte hemoglobin content provided by the Siemens ADVIA (CHr) is an established marker of iron deficiency. The IDEXX ProCyte Dx hematology analyzer now provides a similar variable, reticulocyte hemoglobin equivalent (RET-He).
The objectives of this study were to evaluate RET-He and its diagnostic utility in dogs, and to calculate a cutoff value for diagnosing iron-deficient erythropoiesis (IDE).

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