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Open Access Helicobacter Infection Decreases Reproductive Performance of IL10-deficient Mice

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Infections with a variety of Helicobacter species have been documented in rodent research facilities, with variable effects on rodent health. Helicobacter typhlonius has been reported to cause enteric disease in immunodeficient and IL10-/- mice, whereas H. rodentium has only been reported to cause disease in immunodeficient mice coinfected with other Helicobacter species. The effect of Helicobacter infections on murine reproduction has not been well studied. The reproductive performance of C57BL/6 IL10-/- female mice intentionally infected with H. typhlonius, H. rodentium, or both was compared with that of age-matched uninfected controls or similarly infected mice that received antihelicobacter therapy. The presence of Helicobacter organisms in stool and relevant tissues was detected by PCR assays. Helicobacter infection of IL10-/- female mice markedly decreased pregnancy rates and pup survival. The number of pups surviving to weaning was greatest in noninfected mice and decreased for H. rodentium > H. typhlonius >> H. rodentium and H. typhlonius coinfected mice. Helicobacter organisms were detected by semiquantitative real-time PCR in the reproductive organs of a subset of infected mice. Treatment of infected mice with a 4-drug regimen consisting of amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, and omeprazole increased pregnancy rates, and pup survival and dam fecundity improved. We conclude that infection with H. typhlonius, H. rodentium, or both decreased the reproductive performance of IL10-/- mice. In addition, antihelicobacter therapy improved fecundity and enhanced pup survival.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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