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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 40:115-120 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/ame040115

Detection of Helicobacter pylori associated with zooplankton

Luigina Cellini1,*, Emanuela Di Campli1, Rossella Grande1, Soraya Di Bartolomeo1,Manuela Prenna2, Matilde S. Pasquantonio2, Luigi Pane3

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University ‘G. D’Annunzio’, Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy
2Department of Biology MCA, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
3Department of Experimental Environmental and Applied Biology, University of Genova, 16100 Genova, Italy

ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori was isolated from marine zooplankton, and characterized by standard microbiological tests, by PCR amplification of vacA and cagA gene fragments, and by comparative sequence analysis of the vacA PCR product. In a viable-but-non-culturable (VBNC) state, this isolate, as well as the reference strain H. pylori ATCC 43629, could be re-activated only when incubated in the presence of the marine copepod Tigriopus fulvus, and not in its absence. Isolate and type strain of H. pylori were found to be associated to the surface of T. fulvus, which supports speculations about a potential role of copepods in H. pylori survival and transmission.

KEY WORDS: Helicobacter pylori · Zooplanktonic organisms · Transmission · Seawater · Viable-but-non-culturable (VBNC) state · Tigriopus fulvus

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