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J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Oct;47(10):3241-5. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00293-09. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

homB status of Helicobacter pylori as a novel marker to distinguish gastric cancer from duodenal ulcer.

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Department of Medicine-Gastroenterology, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The hom family of Helicobacter pylori outer-membrane proteins, especially the homB gene, has been suggested as a novel virulence factor; however, the clinical association and function of this gene are still unclear. We evaluated the presence of the homA, homB, and cagA genes in 286 strains isolated from patients in the U.S. and Colombian populations (126 with gastritis, 96 with duodenal ulcer, and 64 with gastric cancer) by PCR. The results were compared with the clinical presentation and gastric injury. The prevalence of the homB gene was significantly higher in strains isolated from gastric-cancer patients (71.9%) than in those from duodenal ulcer patients (52.1%) (P = 0.012). In a multivariate analysis, the presence of the cagA gene significantly increased the risk for developing gastric cancer and duodenal ulcer, with the presence of the homB gene acting as a factor that could distinguish gastric cancer from duodenal ulcer (adjusted odds ratio, 3.033; 95% confidence interval, approximately 1.37 to approximately 6.73). cagA status was correlated with homB status (r = 0.323; P < 0.01). A histological analysis showed that cagA status was associated with inflammation and atrophy both in the antrum and in the corpus, while homB status was associated with inflammation and atrophy in the corpus. homB gene status might be susceptible to gastric-cancer development such that the homB gene is used as a factor for discriminating the risk of gastric cancer from that of duodenal ulcer.

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