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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Association of peptic ulcer with increased expression of Lewis antigens but not cagA, iceA, and vacA in Helicobacter pylori isolates in an Asian population.

BACKGROUND: Studies in Western populations suggest that cagA, iceA, and vacA gene status in Helicobacter pylori isolates is associated with increased virulence and peptic ulcer disease. AIM: To investigate the relationship between peptic ulcer and expression of Lewis (Le) antigens as well as cagA, iceA, and vacA in H pylori isolates in Singapore. METHODS: Expression of Le antigens in H pylori isolates obtained from patients with dyspepsia was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The cagA, iceA, and vacA status was determined by polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: Of 108 H pylori isolates, 103 (95.4%) expressed Le(x) and/or Le(y), while Le(a) and Le(b) were expressed in 23 (21.3%) and 47 (43.5%) isolates, respectively. Expression of two or more Le antigens (Le(x), Le(y), Le(a), or Le(b)) was significantly higher in H pylori isolated from ulcer patients than in non-ulcer patients (89.6% v 73.2%, p=0.035). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of cagA or iceA1 in H pylori isolates from peptic ulcer and non-ulcer patients (86.6% v 90.2% for cagA; 70.1% v 68.3% for iceA1), and no association of peptic ulcer with any specific vacA genotype. CONCLUSIONS: The present study indicates that peptic ulcer disease is associated with increased expression of Lewis antigens but not cagA, iceA, or vacA genotype in H pylori isolates in our population. This suggests that cagA, iceA, and vacA are not universal virulence markers, and that host-pathogen interactions are important in determining clinical outcome.[1]


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