The detection and characterisation of Helicobacter species in Australian marsupials [thesis]

Thosaporn Coldham
This thesis examined the hypotheses that the mucus lining of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of Australian marsupials is colonised with large populations of spiral and fusiform shaped bacteria, many of which belong to the genus Helicobacter and that these Helicobacter species are likely be unique. The presence of spiral and fusiform shaped bacteria in the GIT of 8 Australian marsupial species (32 animals in total) was examined using microscopy, culture and Helicobacter genus specific PCR. The
more » ... arsupials studied included the brushtail possum, ringtail possum, koala, wombat, Eastern grey kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, Eastern quoll and long nosed bandicoot. The spiral and fusiform shaped isolates were characterised and identified using morphological appearance, Helicobacter genus specific PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons. The spatial distribution of Helicobacter species in the GIT sections was examined microscopically in silver stained sections of the GIT and using Fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) with a Helicobacter genus specific probe. Spiral and/or fusiform shaped bacteria were detected and/or isolated from all marsupials studied. The prevalence and bacterial load of these organisms was found to differ in each marsupial species. These bacteria were found to belong to 3 different genera (Helicobacter, Campylobacter and Desulfovibrio). Each marsupial species appeared to be colonised with one or more unique Helicobacter species. Comparison of the detection of Helicobacter species in different groups of marsupials (herbivores, omnivores and carnivores) suggests that diet as well as the function and structure of the GIT may have a significant impact on their colonisation. Phylogenetic analysis of the new possum Helicobacters showed that they shared a common ancestor. Comparison of Helicobacter species isolated from different species of marsupial and placental mammals, as well as birds, showed that differences in environmental location i.e. gastric vs. lower bowel had a major impact on the position of [...]
doi:10.26190/unsworks/22331 fatcat:pn3ijoq4nbbh5mmrrn3hioyg3y