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Infect Genet Evol. 2012 Mar;12(2):203-13. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 17.

Molecular epidemiology, population genetics, and pathogenic role of Helicobacter pylori.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, 1-1 Idaigaoka, Hasama-machi, Yufu-City, Oita 879-5593, Japan.

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori infection is linked to various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only approximately 20% of infected individuals develop severe diseases. Despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in Africa and South Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer in these areas is much lower than in other countries. Furthermore, the incidence of gastric cancer tends to decrease from north to south in East Asia. Such geographic differences in the pathology can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factors, especially cagA, vacA, and the right end of the cag pathogenicity island. The genotype of the virulence genes is also useful as a tool to track human migration utilizing the high genetic diversity and frequent recombination between different H. pylori strains. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis using seven housekeeping genes can also help to predict the history of human migrations. Population structure analysis based on MLST has revealed seven modern population types of H. pylori, which derived from six ancestral populations. Interestingly, the incidence of gastric cancer is closely related to the distribution of H. pylori populations. The different incidence of gastric cancer can be partly attributed to the different genotypes of H. pylori circulating in different geographic areas. Although approaches by MLST and virulence factors are effective, these methods focus on a small number of genes and may miss information conveyed by the rest of the genome. Genome-wide analyses using DNA microarray or whole-genome sequencing technology give a broad view on the genome of H. pylori. In particular, next-generation sequencers, which can read DNA sequences in less time and at lower costs than Sanger sequencing, enabled us to efficiently investigate not only the evolution of H. pylori, but also novel virulence factors and genomic changes related to drug resistance.

PMID:
22197766
PMCID:
PMC3294018
DOI:
10.1016/j.meegid.2011.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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