OBJECTIVES: Considering the geographic differences in the prevalence of virulence factors such as CagA or VacA of H. pylori isolated from Korean adults compared with those from western countries, the establishment of a mouse model infected with H. pylori isolated from Korean adults is needed to investigate the pathogenesis and to develop vaccines against H. pylori infection in Korea. The aim of this study was to establish the BALB/c mouse model infected with H. pylori isolated from Korean. METHODS: Six-week-old BALB/c mice were inoculated intragastrically with 10(9) CFU of H. pylori. Loss of glandular architecture, erosions and infiltration of inflammatory cells within the lamina propria compared with normal gastric mucosa were scrutinized. Evidence for H. pylori infection was assessed by rapid urease test of gastric mucosa and by microscopic examination using the H & E stain and Warthin-Starry silver stain. RESULTS: Rapid urease test was positive in 55% of all inoculated mice. Definite histologic changes and the evidence of H. pylori colonization were observed in the H. pylori infected group. Significant infiltration of inflammatory cells was observed 6 weeks after the last inoculation and the level of serum IgG against H. pylori was increased from 2 weeks after the last inoculation. CONCLUSIONS: The H. pylori isolated freshly from Korean adults could colonize the stomach of BALB/c mice and induce pathologic alterations that mimics human gastric diseases. This model would facilitate the investigations for the pathogenetic mechanisms of H. pylori infection.