The ultrastructure of , a natural inhabitant of the ferret stomach, has been studied and compared with the human gastroduodenal pathogen is a short, slightly curved rod, 2 μm × 0•5 μm, with four or more sheathed flagella. The most common flagellar configuration is a single flagellum at one terminus, bipolar arrangement at the other end and a lateral flagellum. Dense inclusion bodies were observed below the flagellar insertion sites. It is suggested that this configuration is a specialised adaptation to motility in a viscous environment. On examination of the ferret gastric mucosa, similarities to were observed such as adherence to gastric tissue and the formation of adhesion pedestals. However, unlike , significant numbers of bacteria were intracellular. Furthermore, a much greater proportion of were attached to the mucosa with few bacteria lying free in the mucus, as is seen with . It is concluded that the ferret is an important model for the study of adherence of bacteria to gastric mucosa and their possible role in peptic ulceration.


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