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Int J Med Microbiol. 2011 Apr;301(4):293-302. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2010.10.003. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Intact cag pathogenicity island of Helicobacter pylori without disease association in Kolkata, India.

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National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata 700010, India.


Several genes including the cagA in the cag pathogenicity island (cag PAI) of Helicobacter pylori are thought to be associated with the gastroduodenal diseases and hence variation in the genetic structure of the cag PAI might be responsible for different clinical outcomes. Our study was undertaken to characterize the cag PAI of H. pylori strains from duodenal ulcer (DU) patients and asymptomatic or non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD/AV) subjects from Kolkata, India. Strains isolated from 52 individuals (30DU and 22NUD/AV) were analyzed by PCR using 83 different primers for the entire cag PAI and also by dot-blot hybridization. Unlike H. pylori strains isolated from other parts of India, 82.6% of the strains used in this study had intact cag PAI, 9.6% had partially deleted cag PAI, and 7.7% of the strains lacked the entire cag PAI. Dot-blot hybridization yielded positive signals in 100% and 93.8% of PCR-negative strains for HP0522-523 and HP0532-HP0534 genes, respectively. An intact cagA promoter region was also detected in all cagA-positive strains. Furthermore, the expression of cagA mRNA was confirmed by RT-PCR for the representative strains from both DU and NUD/AV subjects indicating the active cagA promoter regions of these strains. A total of 66.7% of Kolkata strains produced a ∼390-bp shorter amplicon than the standard strain 26695 for the HP0527 gene, homologue of virB10. However, sequence analyses confirmed that the deletion did not alter the reading frame of the gene, and mRNA transcripts were detected by RT-PCR analysis. The strains isolated from DU and NUD/AV express CagA protein and possess a functional type IV secretion system, as revealed by Western blot analyses. Interestingly, no significant differences in cag PAI genetic structure were found between DU and NUD/AV individuals suggesting that other bacterial virulence factors, host susceptibility, and environmental determinants also influence the disease outcome at least in certain geographical locations.

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