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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Dec 7;12(45):7278-84.

Relationship between the severity of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease and the presence of Helicobacter species in the liver: a prospective study.

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Hôpital St-André, Bordeaux, France.



To determine the presence of Helicobacter species DNA in the liver of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with and without cirrhosis as compared to controls, and to identify the bacterial species involved.


Seventy-nine consecutive patients (HBV and HIV negative) with a liver sample obtained after liver biopsy or hepatic resection were studied: 41 with CHC without cirrhosis, 12 with CHC and cirrhosis, and 26 controls (HCV negative). Polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) targeting Helicobacter 16S rDNA and species-specific were performed on DNA extracted from the liver. A gastric infection with H pylori was determined by serology and confirmed by 13C-urea breath test.


Overall, Helicobacter 16S rDNA was found in 16 patients (20.2%). Although positive cases tended to be higher in CHC patients with cirrhosis (41.6%) than in those without cirrhosis (17.0%) or in controls (15.4%), the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.08). H pylori-like DNA was identified in 12 cases and H. pullorum DNA in 2, while 2 cases remained unidentified. Gastric infection with H pylori was found in only 2 of these patients.


Our results do not confirm the association of Helicobacter species DNA in the liver of CHC patients with advanced liver disease. The lack of correlation between positive H pylori serology and the presence of H pylori-like DNA in the liver may indicate the presence of a variant of this species.

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