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Open Access Evaluation of a Commercial Colorimetric Fecal Dipstick Assay for the Detection of Helicobacter hepaticus Infections in Laboratory Mice

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Mice used in biomedical research typically are tested for the presence of Helicobacter spp., including Helicobacter hepaticus. Here we evaluated the ability of a commercially available colorimetric Helicobacter dipstick assay to detect H. hepaticus in experimentally and naturally infected mice, with use of a Helicobacter PCR assay as the 'gold standard' test. None of the fecal samples from experimentally infected A/JCr mice (n = 12) tested positive for Helicobacter by the colorimetric dipstick test. In naturally infected A/JCr and C57BL/6 mice, 11% (1 of 9) and 30% (3 of 10) of fecal samples, respectively, tested positive for Helicobacter by the colorimetric dipstick assay. In these 3 groups of H. hepaticus-infected mice, statistically fewer mice tested positive by the colorimetric dipstick test than by PCR. The colorimetric Helicobacter dipstick assay had an overall diagnostic sensitivity of 13%, diagnostic specificity of 94%, and analytical sensitivity of 108 H. hepaticus cfu/mL. As currently formulated, the colorimetric dipstick assay had high specificity but lacked sensitivity for detecting H. hepaticus infections in 2 strains of mice commonly used in research, thereby limiting its utility as a diagnostic screening test for H. hepaticus infections in research mice.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Missouri, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Columbia, Missouri

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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