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Rev Argent Microbiol. 2009 Jan-Mar;41(1):4-10.

[Characterization of the Helicobacter pylori vacuolating cytotoxin gene in gastric biopsy specimens from patients living in Tolima, Colombia].

[Article in Spanish]

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Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 N 18-10 (Of 210) Bogotá, Colombia.


Helicobacter pylori successfully colonizes the gastric niche. These bacteria produce a vacuolating cytotoxin known as VacA, which is codified by the vacA gene. This protein represents an important virulence factor. H. pylori strains have different vacA alleles, which show a variety of phenotypes that have been associated with gastrointestinal diseases. The aim of this study was to generate data about the prevalence of H. pylori and the vacA genotype in Tolima (Colombia) residents, and to evaluate if there exists a relationship between these data and the development of different gastrointestinal pathologies. Seventy three patients with different pathologies were included. The DNA extracted from biopsy specimens was analyzed and the presence of bacteria was determined by amplifying a fragment of the 16 rDNA gene. The vacA genotype was also determined by PCR. Fifty-two percent out of the 50 genotyped samples showed vacA s1m1 allele, 42% vacA s2m2, 4% s1m2, and 2% s1,s2,m1,m2. A higher sensitivity for the detection of H. pylori was evidenced by amplifying the vacA gene rather than the 16S rDNA gene. No association was found between the vacA genotype and the gastrointestinal diseases included in the study.

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