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Evidence for a primate origin of zoonotic Helicobacter suis colonizing domesticated pigs.

Journal article
Authors Bram Flahou
Mirko Rossi
Jaco Bakker
Jan Am Langermans
Edwin Heuvelman
Jay V Solnick
Miriam E Martin
Jani O'Rourke
Le Duc Ngoan
Nguyen Xuan Hoa
Masahiko Nakamura
Anders Øverby
Hidenori Matsui
Hiroyoshi Ota
Takehisa Matsumoto
Dennis L Foss
Laurice A Kopta
Oladipo Omotosho
Maria Pia Franciosini
Patrizia Casagrande Proietti
Aizhen Guo
Han Liu
Gabriela Borilova
Ana Paula Bracarense
Sara K. Lindén
Sofie De Bruyckere
Guangzhi Zhang
Chloë De Witte
Annemieke Smet
Frank Pasmans
Richard Ducatelle
Jukka Corander
Freddy Haesebrouck
Published in The ISME journal
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 77-86
ISSN 1751-7370
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 77-86
Language en
Subject categories Basic Medicine


Helicobacter suis is the second most prevalent Helicobacter species in the stomach of humans suffering from gastric disease. This bacterium mainly inhabits the stomach of domesticated pigs, in which it causes gastric disease, but it appears to be absent in wild boars. Interestingly, it also colonizes the stomach of asymptomatic rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys. The origin of modern human-, pig- or non-human primate-associated H. suis strains in these respective host populations was hitherto unknown. Here we show that H. suis in pigs possibly originates from non-human primates. Our data suggest that a host jump from macaques to pigs happened between 100 000 and 15 000 years ago and that pig domestication has had a significant impact on the spread of H. suis in the pig population, from where this pathogen occasionally infects humans. Thus, in contrast to our expectations, H. suis appears to have evolved in its main host in a completely different way than its close relative Helicobacter pylori in humans.

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