Mouse Models Of Helicobacter Infection And Gastric Pathologies

Kimberley D'Costa, Michelle Chonwerawong, Le Son Tran, Richard L. Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen that is present in half of the global population and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Several mouse models of gastric Helicobacter infection have been developed to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby H. pylori bacteria colonize the stomach of human hosts and cause disease. Herein, we describe protocols to: 1) prepare bacterial suspensions for the in vivo infection of mice via intragastric gavage; 2) determine bacterial colonization levels in mouse gastric tissues, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and viable counting; and 3) assess pathological changes, by histology. To establish Helicobacter infection in mice, specific pathogen-free (SPF) animals are first inoculated with suspensions (containing ≥105 colony-forming units, CFUs) of mouse-colonizing strains of either Helicobacter pylori or other gastric Helicobacter spp. from animals, such as Helicobacter felis. At the appropriate time-points post-infection, stomachs are excised and dissected sagittally into two equal tissue fragments, each comprising the antrum and body regions. One of these fragments is then used for either viable counting or DNA extraction, while the other is subjected to histological processing. Bacterial colonization and histopathological changes in the stomach may be assessed routinely in gastric tissue sections stained with Warthin-Starry, Giemsa or Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stains, as appropriate. Additional immunological analyses may also be undertaken by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence on mouse gastric tissue sections. The protocols described below are specifically designed to enable the assessment in mice of gastric pathologies resembling those in human-related H. pylori diseases, including inflammation, gland atrophy and lymphoid follicle formation. The inoculum preparation and intragastric gavage protocols may also be adapted to study the pathogenesis of other enteric human pathogens that colonize mice, such as Salmonella Typhimurium or Citrobacter rodentium.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere56985
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number140
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018

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