Population dynamics in ageing Helicobacter pylori

L. Cellini, I. Robuffo, G. Spoto, E. Di Campli, M. Di Candia, G. Donelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this work was to characterize population changes occurring in aged broth cultures of Helicobacter pylori. Experiments were performed using clinical strains cultured immediately after isolation and after multiple subcultures in solid medium. Morphological changes in the ageing bacteria during a 7-day broth culture were analysed by optical and electron microscopy. The expression of the virulence factor, CagA, together with the presence of the cell cycle regulator, cGMP, were also assessed. The transition from bacillary to coccoid forms was the main morphological change observed in freshly isolated bacteria, together with the increase in cGMP from 1 to 2.25 nmoles/mg of proteins within the first 7 days of broth culture. A similar trend of morphological and physiological changes was observed in cells after multiple subcultures in solid medium with a major presence of large cell clusters. The cagA gene product was always expressed in all experimental conditions evaluated. These data show a significant morphological and physiological diversity in fresh, ageing and aged cultures of H.pylori.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalNew Microbiologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Ageing
  • CagA
  • Clustering
  • Coccoid forms
  • Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)
  • Helicobacter pylori

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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