A new spiral bacterium, distinct from Campylobacter pylori, was found in the gastric mucosa of six patients with gastrointestinal symptoms. All patients had chronic active type B gastritis and four had oesophagitis. Culture and microscopy for C pylori infection was negative. These unculturable spiral organisms were probably an incidental finding in patients presenting for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, but it is not possible to say from this small series whether these organisms cause chronic active gastritis. The organism is helical, 3.5-7.5 microns long and 0.9 micron in diameter with truncated ends flattened at the tips, and up to 12 sheathed flagella 28 nm in diameter at each pole. It is proposed that this spiral bacterium should be called "Gastrospirillum hominis Gen.nov., Sp.nov."
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