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J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Sep;49(9):3191-7. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00947-11. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Helicobacter pylori homB, but not cagA, is associated with gastric cancer in Iran.

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Molecular and Cell Biology Research Center (MCBRC), Faculty of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, 18KM Khazar Blvd., Khazar Sq., Sari, Iran.


While several distinct virulence factors of Helicobacter pylori have been shown to be associated with different clinical outcomes, there is still much to learn about the role of different bacterial factors in gastric carcinogenesis. This study looked at the distribution of the cagA, homA, and homB genes in strains isolated from patients suffering from gastroduodenal diseases in Iran and assessed if there was any association between disease state and the presence of the aforementioned virulence factors. Genomic DNA from 138 H. pylori strains was isolated and genotyped via PCR. Strains were obtained from dyspeptic patients (35 from gastritis patients, 62 from peptic ulcer patients, and 41 from gastric cancer patients) at the Teaching Touba Clinic and Imam Hospital of the Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in Sari, Iran. The overall prevalence rates of cagA, homA, and homB were 58%, 54%, and 43%, respectively. Stratification of patients showed a significant difference in the prevalence of H. pylori virulence genes across the disease states. The frequency of homB was statistically significantly higher in gastric cancer patients (78%) than in patients suffering from peptic ulcers (20%) or gastritis (43%) (P < 0.0001). The presence of homB was also associated with the presence of cagA (r = 0.243). These data suggest that in this population the presence of homB may be a predictor of more virulent strains of H. pylori and influence the severity of disease manifestation.

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