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Open Access Effects of Helicobacter Infection on Research: The Case for Eradication of Helicobacter from Rodent Research Colonies

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Infection of mouse colonies with Helicobacter spp. has become an increasing concern for the research community. Although Helicobacter infection may cause clinical disease, investigators may be unaware that their laboratory mice are infected because the pathology of Helicobacter species is host-dependent and may not be recognized clinically. The effects of Helicobacter infections are not limited to the gastrointestinal system and can affect reproduction, the development of cancers in gastrointestinal organs and remote organs such as the breast, responses to vaccines, and other areas of research. The data we present in this review show clearly that unintentional Helicobacter infection has the potential to significantly interfere with the reliability of research studies based on murine models. Therefore, frequent screening of rodent research colonies for Helicobacter spp. and the eradication of these pathogens should be key goals of the research community.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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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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