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Preliminary evidence for the presence of Helicobacter-like bacteria was sought in 395 porcine gastric samples by a urease test. Of the samples, 37% (146/395) were urease-positive and 82% (82/100) of the Gram-stained urease-positive samples showed large, tightly spiralled organisms. Several methods were applied to culture the organisms but isolation was unsuccessful, contaminant organisms being considered to be one of the major problems. PCR with Helicobacter genus-specific primers for 16S rRNA and ureB genes, and primers for H. pylori vacA and cagA genes were tested with 102 urease-positive biopsy samples. The PCR results showed some evidence for the presence of the urease and the vacA genes in porcine Helicobacter-like bacteria and raises the possibility of pathogenicity by these organisms.