Helicobacter suis is a zoonotically important bacterium, that has been associated with gastritis and ulcerative lesions of the pars oesophagea of the stomach in pigs. Its exact role in these pathologies, however, still remains controversial. Therefore, a total of 29 medicated early weaned piglets were inoculated intragastrically or orally, with a total of 2×10(9) viable H. suis bacteria and the effect on gastric pathology and weight gain was determined. Twenty-three medicated early weaned piglets were inoculated with a sterile culture medium and used as sham-inoculated controls. The animals were euthanized between 28 and 42 days after inoculation. Infected animals showed a more severe gastritis compared to the control group. There was also a significant reduction of approximately 60g per day (10%) in weight gain in H. suis inoculated animals compared to the sham-inoculated control animals. In conclusion, this study demonstrates for the first time that a pure in vitro culture of H. suis not only causes gastritis but also a marked decrease of the daily weight gain in experimentally infected pigs.