Helicobacter species associated with human infection include Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter heilmannii and Helicobacter felis among others. In this study we determined the prevalence of H. pylori and non-Helicobacter pylori organisms H. felis and H. heilmannii and analyzed the association between coinfection with these organisms and gastric pathology in patients presenting with dyspepsia. Biopsy specimens were obtained from patients with dyspepsia on esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for rapid urease test, histology and PCR examination for Helicobacter genus specific 16S rDNA, H. pylori phosphoglucosamine mutase (glmM) and urease B (ureB) gene of H. heilmannii and H. felis. Sequencing of PCR products of H. heilmannii and H. felis was done.
Two hundred-fifty patients with dyspepsia were enrolled in the study. The mean age was 39 ± 12 years with males 162(65%). Twenty-six percent (66 out of 250) were exposed to cats or dogs. PCR for Helicobacter genus specific 16S rDNA was positive in 167/250 (67%), H. pylori glmM in 142/250 (57%), H. heilmannii in 17/250 (6%) and H. felis in 10/250 (4%), respectively. All the H. heilmannii and H. felis PCR positive patients were also positive for H. pylori PCR amplification. The occurrence of coinfection of H. pylori and H. heilmannii was 17(6%) and with H. felis was 10(4%), respectively. Only one out of 66 exposed to pets were positive for H. heilmannii and two for H. felis. Histopathology was carried out in 160(64%) of 250 cases. Chronic active inflammation was observed in 53(56%) (p = 0.001) of the patients with H. pylori infection alone as compared to 3(37%) (p = 0.73) coinfected with H. heilmannii and H. pylori and 3(60%) coinfected with H. felis and H. pylori (p = 0.66). Intestinal metaplasia was observed in 3(3%)(p = 1.0) of the patients with H. pylori infection alone as compared to 2(25%) (p = 0.02) coinfected with H. heilmannii and H. pylori and 1(20%) coinfected with H. felis and H. pylori (p = 0.15).
The prevalence of H. heilmannii and H. felis was low in our patients with dyspepsia. Exposure to pets did not increase the risk of H. heilmannii or H. felis infection. The coinfection of H. pylori with H. heilmannii was seen associated with intestinal metaplasia, however this need further confirmation.
Keywords: Dyspepsia, gastric biopsies, H. pylori, H. heilmannii, H. felis, coinfection, cats, dogs