The Carcinogenic Liver Fluke Opisthorchis viverrini is a Reservoir for Species of Helicobacter

  • Deenonpoe, Raksawan (WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Control of Opisthorchiasis (Southeast Asian Liver Fluke Disease), Tropical Disease Research Laboratory) ;
  • Chomvarin, Chariya (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Pairojkul, Chawalit (Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Chamgramol, Yaowalux (Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Loukas, Alex (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University) ;
  • Brindley, Paul J (Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine, and Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, The George Washington University) ;
  • Sripa, Banchob (WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Control of Opisthorchiasis (Southeast Asian Liver Fluke Disease), Tropical Disease Research Laboratory)
  • Published : 2015.03.18


There has been a strong, positive correlation between opisthorchiasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma and infection with Helicobacter. Here a rodent model of human infection with Opisthorchis viverrini was utilized to further investigate relationships of apparent co-infections with O. viverrini and H. pylori. A total of 150 hamsters were assigned to five groups: i) Control hamsters not infected with O. viverrini; ii) O. viverrini-infected hamsters; iii) non-O. viverrini infected hamsters treated with antibiotics (ABx); iv) O. viverrini-infected hamsters treated with ABx; and v) O. viverrini-infected hamsters treated both with ABx and praziquantel (PZQ). Stomach, gallbladder, liver, colonic tissue, colorectal feces and O. viverrini worms were collected and the presence of species of Helicobacter determined by PCR-based approaches. In addition, O. viverrini worms were cultured in vitro with and without ABx for four weeks, after which the presence of Helicobacter spp. was determined. In situ localization of H. pylori and Helicobacter-like species was performed using a combination of histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in O. viverrini-infected hamsters was significantly higher than that of O. viverrini-uninfected hamsters ($p{\leq}0.001$). Interestingly, O. viverrini-infected hamsters treated with ABx and PZQ (to remove the flukes) had a significantly lower frequency of H. pylori than either O. viverr-iniinfected hamsters treated only with ABx or O. viverrini-infected hamsters, respectively ($p{\leq}0.001$). Quantitative RT-PCR strongly confirmed the correlation between intensity H. pylori infection and the presence of liver fluke infection. In vitro, H. pylori could be detected in the O. viverrini worms cultured with ABx over four weeks. In situ localization revealed H. pylori and other Helicobacter-like bacteria in worm gut. The findings indicate that the liver fluke O. viverrini in the biliary tree of the hamsters harbors H. pylori and Helicobacter-like bacteria. Accordingly, the association between O. viverrini and H. pylori may be an obligatory mutualism.



Supported by : Khon Kaen University


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