Open Access Research article

Study of Helicobacter pylori genotype status in cows, sheep, goats and human beings

Hassan Momtaz1, Hossein Dabiri2, Negar Souod3* and Mohsen Gholami4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, ShahreKord Branch, Islamic Azad University, ShahreKord, Iran

2 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

3 Young Researchers and Elite club, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, P.O.Box: 13185-768, Tehran, Iran

4 Graduated of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, ShahreKord Branch, Islamic Azad University, ShahreKord, Iran

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BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:61  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-61

Published: 3 April 2014



Helicobacter pylori is one of the most controversial bacteria in the world causing diverse gastrointestinal diseases. The transmission way of this bacterium still remains unknown. The possibility of zoonotic transmission of H. pylori has been suggested, but is not proven in nonprimate reservoirs. In the current survey, we investigate the presence of H. pylori in cow, sheep and goat stomach, determine the bacterium virulence factors and finally compare the human H. pylori virulence factors and animals in order to examine whether H. pylori might be transmitted from these animals to human beings.


This cross- sectional study was performed on 800 gastric biopsy specimens of cows, sheep, goats and human beings. The PCR assays was performed to detection of H. pylori, vacA and cagA genes. The PCR products of Ruminant’s samples with positive H. pylori were subjected to DNA sequencing analysis. Statistical tests were applied for data analysis.


Overall 6 (3%) cows, 32 (16%) sheep and 164 (82%) human beings specimens were confirmed to be H. pylori positive; however we were not able to detect this bacterium in all 200 goat samples. The vacA s1a/m1a was the predominant H. pylori genotype in all three kinds of studied population. There was 3.4–8.4% variability and 92.9-98.5% homology between sheep and human samples.


Considering the high sequence homology among DNA of H. pylori isolated from sheep and human, our data suggest that sheep may act as a reservoir for H. pylori and in the some extent share the ancestral host for the bacteria with human.

Helicobacter pylori; Virulence genes; Cow; Sheep; Goat; Human being