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Arch Iran Med. 2013 May;16(5):288-94. doi: 013165/AIM.009.

The role of mother's oral and vaginal yeasts in transmission of Helicobacter pylori to neonates.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, University College of Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. siavoshi@khayam.ut.ac.ir

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oral cavity has been proposed as an important reservoir of H.pylori, being implicated in bacterial transmission through oral-oral route. However, some investigators believe that the newborn acquires H.pylori from mother through vaginal delivery. In this study, oral and vaginal yeasts were examined for the intracellular occurrence of H.pylori and their possible role in bacterial transmission. 

METHODS:

Sixty nine oral and vaginal yeasts from expecting mothers (39 oral and 30 vaginal) and seven oral yeasts from neonates(6/46 vaginal delivery, 1/43 cesarean) were identified and studied by light and fluorescent microscopy for observing the intracellular bacterium-like bodies(BLBs). Whole DNAs of yeasts were recruited for detection of H.pylori-specific genes. Urea breath test (UBT) was performed for detection of H.pylori infection in mothers. Stool antigen test (SAT) was used for detection of H.pylori antigens in infants' stool at birth and six months of age. 

RESULTS:

Oral yeasts were isolated more frequently from normally-delivered neonates. The frequency of H.pylori genes in mothers' vaginal yeasts was significantly higher than in mothers' oral yeasts. A significant correlation was found between the occurrence of H.pylori genes in vaginal yeasts and that in neonates' oral yeasts, occurrence of H.pylori genes in mothers' vaginal yeasts or neonates' oral yeasts, and UBT+ results in mothers.

CONCLUSION:

C.albicans which colonizes the oral cavity of neonates through vaginal delivery or contact with environment or healthcare workers could be an important reservoir of H.pylori. Vaginal yeasts are more potent in accommodating H.pylori than oral yeasts. Accordingly, vaginal yeast is proposed as the primary reservoir of H.pylori which facilitates H.pylori transmission to neonates.

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