Growth and morphological transformations of Helicobacter pylori in broth media

Anders P. Andersen, David A. Elliott, Moira Lawson, Peter Barland, Victor B. Hatcher, Elena G. Puszkin

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52 Scopus citations


Helicobacter pylori, a cause of peptic ulcer disease and certain types of gastric cancers, has usually been cultured on diverse agar-based media, resulting in a requirement for 2 to 4 days of growth at 37°C. We have developed a novel broth medium consisting of a base medium supplemented with 2% newborn calf serum, Mg2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and 1 mg of lysed human erythrocytes per ml. This medium supports rapid growth of H. pylori, with a doubling time of about 50 min. Optimal growth was obtained in a pH range higher than that supporting most other gram-negative bacteria (at pH 8.5). H. pylori cultured in this supplemented broth retains the spiral morphology seen in both histological sections and cultures from agar-based media and also retains a high urease activity. After 18 h in this broth, H. pylori transforms to a coccal form with a complete loss of urease activity. Previously these cocci have been reported to be senescent, since they could not be subcultured on agar medium. Our experiments suggest that some of the cocci can revert back to the spiral morphology with full recovery of urease activity when subcultured in fresh microaerobic broth medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2918-2922
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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