In animals, infection by the Epsilonproteobacteria Helicobacter spp. and H. cetorum is widespread. It has been suggested that H. cetorum may cause gastritis in cetaceans. The aim of our study was to investigate the presence of Helicobacter spp. in the fecal material of the endangered Yangtze finless porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis. The fecal material of 12 porpoises living in the wild in Poyang Lake and 1 porpoise living in captivity at the Wuhan Baiji Dolphinarium were examined by PCR for the presence of Helicobacter spp. The fecal material of 8 of 12 wild porpoises and the captive porpoise were positive for Helicobacter spp. as determined by PCR using Helicobacter-specific primers, which target the 16S rRNA gene. A 16S rRNA clone library was then prepared from 1 sample isolated from a female porpoise living in the wild. DNA sequence analysis from 3 of the clones showed 98 to 99% identity to the H. cetorum 16S rRNA gene. These results demonstrate the prevalence of Helicobacter spp. and H. cetorum in endangered freshwater finless porpoises.
McLaughlin, R. W.; Zheng, J. S.; Chen, M. M.; Zhao, Q. Z.; Wang, D..Detection of Helicobacter in the fecal material of the endangered Yangtze finless porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis,DISEASES OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS,2011,95(3):241-245