Experimentation in animal models is essential to fully understand the biology of H. pylori. Although a variety of animals have been successfully infected with H. pylori, current studies most commonly use either mice, Mongolian gerbils, or nonhuman primates, each of which has strengths and weaknesses. The mouse is inexpensive and convenient, and the elegant genetics permits dissection of the host response to infection. However, the function of the H. pylori type IV secretion system—the best-known virulence factor—is commonly lost during colonization of mice. This occurs less frequently in the gerbil, which also has the major advantage that some H. pylori strains cause gastric adenocarcinoma during relatively short-term colonization. But there is no genetics available in the gerbil and there are fewer reagents available than for the mouse. Nonhuman primates are physiologically most similar to humans and are naturally infected with H. pylori, but are limited by high cost and availability. Choice of the most appropriate model depends on the question, resources, and the availability of local expertise.
- Animal model
- Helicobacter pylori
- Nonhuman primate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)