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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2001 Feb;36(2):149-55.

Association between the IgG subclass response, inflammation and disease status in Helicobacter pylori infection.

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School of Microbiology and Immunology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.



In many viral, bacterial and parasitic infections the Immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass response has been shown to correlate with severity of inflammation and disease outcome. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between the IgG subclass response to Helicobacter pylori infection and disease and inflammation.


Eighty-three symptomatic patients undergoing endoscopic examination were included in the study. Upon endoscopic examination, the presence of ulceration was noted and biopsy specimens were collected from the gastric antrum, body and transitional zone. Blood was also collected from each patient. Gastric biopsy sections were graded using the Sydney system. H. pylori specific IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 were measured by ELISA. The IgG subclass was also examined retrospectively in sera collected from 20 patients previously proven to have duodenal ulcer (DU).


The results of histological examination and IgG serology showed 35 subjects to be H. pylori negative and 48 to be H. pylori positive. Of the 48 H. pylori positive subjects, 25 were diagnosed with functional dyspepsia (FD), 14 with current DU and 9 with evidence of past DU. Significantly higher levels of IgG2 antibodies were found in patients with DU as compared with patients with FD (P < 0.01). In addition, significantly higher IgG3 subclass antibody levels were associated with chronic inflammatory cells in the body (P < 0.05) and active inflammatory cells in the transitional zone (P < 0.01). A significantly increased level of IgG1 antibodies was associated with lower levels of colonization in the gastric antrum.


The results of this study suggest that the IgG subclass response in subjects infected with H. pylori may be a marker of DU disease as well as increased levels of inflammation.

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