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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Apr 15;161(2):231-9.

Panmictic structure of Helicobacter pylori demonstrated by the comparative study of six genetic markers.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Microbiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Brest, France.


We compared the classifications of strains obtained by analysis of several genetic markers to demonstrate the panmictic structure of Helicobacter pylori, previously suggested by the study of multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. A series of 39 strains, including 37 clinical isolates from patients with gastritis or ulcers from two regions of France, reference strain CIP 101260 and the Sydney strain (strain SSI), were used. They were studied by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of ribosomal DNA (ribotyping) using HindIII and HaeIII, by polymorphism analysis of the ureA-ureB and flaA genes by PCR-RFLP using HaeIII and MboI, by vacA genotyping and by the presence or absence of the cagA gene and of the insertion sequence IS605 detected by PCR. There was a high level of genetic polymorphism over the studied strains, with 38 ribotypes, 38 restriction profiles for the ureA-ureB gene, 19 restriction profiles for the flaA gene and five combinations of the signal and mid-region sequences of the vacA gene. Factorial analysis of correspondence and hierarchical clustering performed using each marker revealed that the different classifications of the strains were not correlated. This suggests there is much genetic recombination between strains and supports the hypothesis of a panmictic structure for the H. pylori species.

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