AIM: To investigate the diversity of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) genotypes and correlations with disease outcomes in an Iranian population with different gastroduodenal disorders.
METHODS: Isolates of H. pylori from patients with different gastroduodenal disorders were analyzed after culture and identification by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Genomic DNA was extracted with the QIAamp DNA mini kit (Qiagen, Germany). After DNA extraction, genotyping was done for cagA, vacA (s and m regions), iceA (iceA1, iceA2) and babA with specific primers for each allele using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All patients’ pathologic and clinical data and their relation with known genotypes were analyzed by using SPSS version 19.0 software. χ2 test and Fisher’s exact test were used to assess relationships between categorical variables. The level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
RESULTS: A total of 71 isolates from 177 patients with different gastroduodenal disorders were obtained. Based on analysis of the cagA gene (positive or negative), vacA s-region (s1 or s2), vacA m-region (m1 or m2), iceA allelic type (iceA1 and iceA2) and babA gene (positive or negative), twenty different genotypic combinations were recognized. The prevalence of cagA, vacA s1, vacA s2, vacA m1, vacA m2, iceA1, iceA2, iceA1+iceA2 and babA were 62%, 78.9%, 19.7%, 21.1%, 78.9%, 15.5%, 22.5%, 40.8% and 95.8%, respectively. Interestingly, evaluation of PCR results for cagA in 6 patients showed simultaneous existence of cagA variants according to their size diversities that proposed mixed infection in these patients. The most prevalent genotype in cagA-positive isolates was cagA+/vacAs1m2/iceA1+A2/babA+ and in cagA-negative isolates was cagA-/vacAs1m2/iceA-/babA+. There were no relationships between the studied genes and histopathological findings (H. pylori density, neutrophil activity, lymphoid aggregation in lamina propria and glandular atrophy). The strains which carry cagA, vacAs1/m1, iceA2 and babA genes showed significant associations with severe active chronic gastritis (P = 0.011, 0.025, 0.020 and 0.031, respectively). The vacAs1 genotype had significant correlation with the presence of the cagA gene (P = 0.013). Also, babA genotype showed associations with cagA (P = 0.024). In the combined genotypes, only cagA+/vacAs1m1/iceA2/babA+ genotype showed correlation with severe active chronic gastritis (P = 0.025).
CONCLUSION: This genotyping panel can be a useful tool for detection of virulent H. pylori isolates and can provide valuable guidance for prediction of the clinical outcomes.