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J Physiol Pharmacol. 1999 Dec;50(5):875-82.

Detection of Helicobacter in the liver of patients with chronic cholestatic liver diseases.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, Lund University Hospital, Sweden.


Helicobacter species were identified in human liver tissues by PCR. Biopsies were obtained from patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and noncholestatic liver cirrhosis. One set of Helicobacter genus-specific primers and two different primer sets for Helicobacter pylori were used in the PCR-assays. Using Helicobacter genus-specific primers 80% (8/10) of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis and 90% (9/10) of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis were positive. Seven of these 17 samples were positive using two different primers for H. pylori and Southern blot hybridization. Among the non-cholestatic liver cirrhosis controls, only one sample was positive in the Helicobacter genus-specific PCR-assay. Significantly higher values of alkaline phosphatases and prothrombin complex was found for the patients positive for Helicobacter genus. In conclusion, gene sequences of Helicobacter species and H. pylori were detected in human liver tissue using PCR and DNA hybridization in patients with a cholestatic liver disease, but rarely in noncholestatic liver cirrhosis.

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