Helicobacter cinaedi infection is recognized as an increasingly important emerging disease in humans. Although H. cinaedi-like strains have been isolated from a variety of animals, it is difficult to identify particular isolates due to their unusual phenotypic profiles and the limited number of biochemical tests for detecting helicobacters. Moreover, analyses of the 16S rRNA gene sequences are also limited due to the high levels of similarity among closely related helicobacters. This study was conducted to evaluate intact-cell mass spectrometry (ICMS) profiling using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a tool for the identification of H. cinaedi. A total of 68 strains of H. cinaedi isolated from humans, dogs, a cat, and hamsters were examined in addition to other Helicobacter species. The major ICMS profiles of H. cinaedi were identical and differed from those of Helicobacter bilis, which show<98% sequence similarity at the 16S rRNA sequence level. A phyloproteomic analysis of the H. cinaedi strains examined in this work revealed that human isolates formed a single cluster that was distinct from that of the animal isolates, with the exception of two strains from dogs. These phyloproteomic results agreed with those of the phylogenetic analysis based on the nucleotide sequences of the hsp60 gene. Because they formed a distinct cluster in both analyses, our data suggest that animal strains may not be a major source of infection in humans. In conclusion, the ICMS profiles obtained using a MALDI-TOF MS approach may be useful for the identification and subtyping of H. cinaedi.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)