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PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e38528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038528. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Comparative genomics of Helicobacter pylori strains of China associated with different clinical outcome.

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State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.


In this study, a whole-genome CombiMatrix Custom oligonucleotide tiling microarray with 90,000 probes covering six sequenced Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) genomes was designed. This microarray was used to compare the genomic profiles of eight unsequenced strains isolated from patients with different gastroduodenal diseases in Heilongjiang province of China. Since significant genomic variation was found among these strains, an additional 76 H. pylori strains associated with different clinical outcomes were isolated from various provinces of China. These strains were tested by polymerase chain reaction to demonstrate this distinction. We identified several highly variable regions in strains associated with gastritis, gastric ulceration, and gastric cancer. These regions are associated with genes involved in the bacterial type I, type II, and type III R-M systems. They were also associated with the virB gene, which lies on the well-studied cag pathogenic island. While previous studies have reported on the diverse genetic characterization of this pathogenic island, in this study, we find that it is conserved in all strains tested by microarray. Moreover, a number of genes involved in the type IV secretion system, which is related to horizontal DNA transfer between H. pylori strains, were identified in the comparative analysis of the strain-specific genes. These findings may provide insight into new biomarkers for the prediction of gastric diseases.

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