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1.  Validation of a Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Method Using Peptide Nucleic Acid Probes for Detection of Helicobacter pylori Clarithromycin Resistance in Gastric Biopsy Specimens 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(6):1887-1893.
Here, we evaluated a previously established peptide nucleic acid-fluorescence in situ hybridization (PNA-FISH) method as a new diagnostic test for Helicobacter pylori clarithromycin resistance detection in paraffin-embedded gastric biopsy specimens. Both a retrospective study and a prospective cohort study were conducted to evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of a PNA-FISH method to determine H. pylori clarithromycin resistance. In the retrospective study (n = 30 patients), full agreement between PNA-FISH and PCR-sequencing was observed. Compared to the reference method (culture followed by Etest), the specificity and sensitivity of PNA-FISH were 90.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 57.1% to 99.5%) and 84.2% (95% CI, 59.5% to 95.8%), respectively. In the prospective cohort (n = 93 patients), 21 cases were positive by culture. For the patients harboring clarithromycin-resistant H. pylori, the method showed sensitivity of 80.0% (95% CI, 29.9% to 98.9%) and specificity of 93.8% (95% CI, 67.7% to 99.7%). These values likely represent underestimations, as some of the discrepant results corresponded to patients infected by more than one strain. PNA-FISH appears to be a simple, quick, and accurate method for detecting H. pylori clarithromycin resistance in paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens. It is also the only one of the methods assessed here that allows direct and specific visualization of this microorganism within the biopsy specimens, a characteristic that allowed the observation that cells of different H. pylori strains can subsist in very close proximity in the stomach.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00302-13
PMCID: PMC3716114  PMID: 23596234
2.  A Novel Method for Genotyping the Helicobacter pylori vacA Intermediate Region Directly in Gastric Biopsy Specimens 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(12):3983-3989.
The present report describes a novel method for genotyping the virulence-associated vacA intermediate (i) region of Helicobacter pylori in archive material. vacA i-region genotypes as determined by the novel method were completely concordant with those of sequence analysis and with those of functional vacuolation activity. The method was further validated directly in gastric biopsy specimens of 386 H. pylori-positive cases, and effective characterization of the vacA i region was obtained in 191 of 192 (99.5%) frozen and in 186 of 194 (95.9%) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded gastric biopsy specimens, respectively. The genotyping method was next used to address the relationship between the vacA genotypes and the cagA status. The vacA i1 genotype was associated with vacA s1 (where s indicates signal region), vacA m1 (where m indicates middle region), and cagA-positive genotypes (P < 0.0001), while the vacA i2 genotype was closely related with vacA s2, vacA m2, and cagA-negative genotypes (P < 0.0001). The relationship between H. pylori vacA i-region genotypes and gastric disease development was subsequently evaluated in the Portuguese population. Patients infected with vacA i1 strains showed an increased risk for gastric atrophy and for gastric carcinoma, with odds ratios of 8.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3 to 27) and of 22 (95% CI, 7.9 to 63), respectively. Taken together, the results show that this novel H. pylori vacA i-region genotyping method can be applied directly to archive material, providing a fast evaluation of strain virulence determinants without the need of culture. The results further emphasize that the characterization of the vacA i region may be useful to identify patients at higher risk of gastric carcinoma development.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02087-12
PMCID: PMC3502994  PMID: 23035185
3.  Docosahexaenoic Acid Inhibits Helicobacter pylori Growth In Vitro and Mice Gastric Mucosa Colonization 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35072.
H. pylori drug-resistant strains and non-compliance to therapy are the major causes of H. pylori eradication failure. For some bacterial species it has been demonstrated that fatty acids have a growth inhibitory effect. Our main aim was to assess the ability of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to inhibit H. pylori growth both in vitro and in a mouse model. The effectiveness of standard therapy (ST) in combination with DHA on H. pylori eradication and recurrence prevention success was also investigated. The effects of DHA on H. pylori growth were analyzed in an in vitro dose-response study and n in vivo model. We analized the ability of H. pylori to colonize mice gastric mucosa following DHA, ST or a combination of both treatments. Our data demonstrate that DHA decreases H. pylori growth in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, DHA inhibits H. pylori gastric colonization in vivo as well as decreases mouse gastric mucosa inflammation. Addition of DHA to ST was also associated with lower H. pylori infection recurrence in the mouse model. In conclusion, DHA is an inhibitor of H. pylori growth and its ability to colonize mouse stomach. DHA treatment is also associated with a lower recurrence of H. pylori infection in combination with ST. These observations pave the way to consider DHA as an adjunct agent in H. pylori eradication treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035072
PMCID: PMC3328494  PMID: 22529974
4.  PNA-FISH as a new diagnostic method for the determination of clarithromycin resistance of Helicobacter pylori 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:101.
Background
Triple therapy is the gold standard treatment for Helicobacter pylori eradication from the human stomach, but increased resistance to clarithromycin became the main factor of treatment failure. Until now, fastidious culturing methods are generally the method of choice to assess resistance status. In this study, a new genotypic method to detect clarithromycin resistance in clinical samples, based on fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using a set of peptide nucleic acid probes (PNA), is proposed.
Results
The set of probes targeting the point mutations responsible for clarithromycin resistance was applied to H. pylori suspensions and showed 100% sensitivity and specificity (95% CI, 79.9-100 and 95% CI, 71.6-100 respectively). This method can also be amenable for application to gastric biopsy samples, as resistance to clarithromycin was also detected when histological slides were tested.
Conclusions
The optimized PNA-FISH based diagnostic method to detect H. pylori clarithromycin resistance shown to be a very sensitive and specific method for the detection of clarithromycin resistance in the H. pylori smears and also proved to be a reliable method for the diagnosis of this pathogen in clinical samples and an alternative to existing plating methods.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-101
PMCID: PMC3112065  PMID: 21569555

Results 1-4 (4)