An earlier report described the discovery of a micro-organism in the form of a double helix in human small bowel biopsies. Mucosal biopsies of the stomach and small bowel obtained from patients with rheumatic diseases and dyspepsia by enteroscopy and gastroscopy were fixed for scanning electron microscopy to investigate the organism further. In 62% of biopsies, an organism in the form of a double helix with bifid ends, 5-30 μm long, was found lying free on the surface of the mucosa. The organism has been demonstrated in the stomach, duodenum and small bowel. Flagella were never seen to be associated with the organism. In spite of its helical form, the organism lacks many of the factors associated with spirochaete morphology. It is suggested that this, as yet unnamed organism, may be found throughout the length of the digestive tract. Its pathological significance is not known.


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