Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Epsilonproteobacteria, Order Campylobacterales, Family Helicobacteraceae, Genus Helicobacter,
Helicobacter mustelae (Fox, Taylor, Edmonds and Brenner 1988) Goodwin, Armstrong, Chilvers, Peters, Collins, Sly,
McConnell and Harper 1989.
Synonyms: Campylobacter pylori subsp. mustelae Fox et al. 1988, Campylobacter
mustelae (Fox et al. 1988) Fox et al. 1989.
Gram-negative, straight or curved rods, 0.5-0.65 x 2-5 μm. Cells transform to coccoid
forms with age. Motile by means of multiple, peritrichous, sheathed flagella with
distintive terminal bulbs. Nonsporeforming.
Colonies on blood agar are nonpigmented, translucent, and 1-2 mm in diameter.
Microaerophilic. Optimal growth at 37 ºC; growth at 30 ºC but not at 25 ºC; variable
growth at 42 ºC. Variable growth in air enriched with 10% CO2 and anaerobically.
Grow on 0.5 - 1% glycine and and 0.04% triphenyltetrazolium chloride. No growth on
1% bile or on blood agar containing 3.5% NaCl.
Isolated from the gastric mucosa and feces of infected ferrets and from the gastric mucosa of mink.
Resistant to cephalothin (32 mg/l), 5-fluorouracil (100 U/l) and sodium fluoride (0.1%). Sensitive to metronidazole (4 mg/l) and
nalidixic acid (30 mg/l), penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, erythromycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, rifampin, and tetracycline.
Pathogenic in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Causes chronic gastritis and is clinically associated with gastric and duodenal ulcers as
well as gastric adenocarcinoma and gastric MALT lymphoma. Mutants lacking urease activity, as well as those without flagella, are
unable to colonize gastric mucosa of ferrets.
H. mustelae is frequently used as an animal model of H.pylori infection and a number of important virulence traits have been
- George M. Garrity, Julia A. Bell and Timothy Lilburn, 2001. Family II. Helicobacteraceae. In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic
Bacteriology, Second edition, Vol 2, part C, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief), pp 1168-1195.
- C. Stewart Goodwin, John A. Armstrong, Terry Chilvers, Michelle Peters, M. David Collins, Lindsay Sly, William McConnell, and
William E. S. Harper. Transfer of Campylobacter pylori and Campylobacter mustelae to Helicobacter gen. nov. as Helicobacter
pylori comb. nov. and Helicobacter mustelae comb. nov., Respectively. Int J Syst Bacteriol October 1989 39:397-405.
Positive results for alkaline phosphatase, catalase, nitrate reduction (microaerophilic), gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, oxidase &
urease (can be spontaneously lost during subcultivation on artificial culture media).
Negative results for leucine arylamidase, hippurate hydrolysis & H2S production (negative in triple sugar iron agar, but variable on
(c) Costin Stoica