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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Nov;9(6):1160-4.

Immune responses to bile-tolerant helicobacter species in patients with chronic liver diseases, a randomized population group, and healthy blood donors.

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Department of Immunology, University of Tartu, 51014 Tartu, Estonia, Sweden.


Bile-tolerant Helicobacter species such as Helicobacter pullorum, Helicobacter bilis, and Helicobacter hepaticus are associated with hepatic disorders in animals and may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases (CLD) in humans. Antibody responses to cell surface proteins of H. pullorum, H. bilis, and H. hepaticus in serum samples from patients with CLD, a randomized population group, and healthy blood donors were evaluated by using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results were compared with the antibody responses to Helicobacter pylori. For analysis of a possible cross-reactivity between bile-tolerant Helicobacter species and H. pylori, sera from a subpopulation of each group were absorbed with a whole-cell extract of H. pylori and retested by ELISA. Results before absorption showed that the mean value of the ELISA units for H. pullorum was significantly higher in patients with CLD than in healthy blood donors (P = 0.01). Antibody reactivity to cell surface protein of H. hepaticus was also significantly higher in the CLD patients than in the healthy blood donors and the population group (P = 0.005 and P = 0.002, respectively). Following the absorption, antibody responses to H. pullorum decreased significantly in all three groups (P = 0.0001 for CLD patients, P = 0.0005 for the population group, and P < 0.0001 for the blood donors), indicating that cross-reactivity between H. pylori and other Helicobacter spp. occurs. The antibody responses to H. hepaticus and H. bilis in CLD patients remained high following absorption experiments compared to ELISA results before absorption. The significance of this finding requires further investigations.

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