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1.  Helicobacter heilmannii sensu lato: An overview of the infection in humans 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(47):17779-17787.
Helicobacter heilmannii sensu lato (H. heilmannii s.l.) is a group of gastric non-Helicobacter pylori Helicobacter species that are morphologically indistinguishable from each other. H. heilmannii s.l. infect the stomach of several animals and may have zoonotic potential. Although the prevalence of these infections in humans is low, they are associated with gastric pathology, including mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, making them a significant health issue. Here, the taxonomy, epidemiology, microbiology, diagnosis, and treatment of these infections will be reviewed. The gastric pathology associated with H. heilmannii s.l. infections in humans will also be addressed. Finally, the features of the complete bacterial genomes available and studies on species-specific pathogenesis will be reviewed. The understanding of the mechanisms that underlie gastric disease development mediated by the different bacterial species that constitute H. heilmannii s.l. is essential for developing strategies for prevention and treatment of these infections.
PMCID: PMC4273128  PMID: 25548476
Helicobacter heilmannii sensu lato; Gastric non-Helicobacter pylori; Helicobacter species; Pathogenesis; Diagnosis; Treatment; Genomes
2.  Causes and consequences of microsatellite instability in gastric carcinogenesis 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(44):16433-16442.
Loss of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) function, due to somatic or germline epi/genetic alterations of MMR genes leads to the accumulation of numerous mutations across the genome, creating a molecular phenotype known as microsatellite instability (MSI). In gastric cancer (GC), MSI occurs in about 15% to 30% of the cases. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying the acquisition of MSI in GC as well as on the clinic, pathologic and molecular consequences of the MSI phenotype. Additionally, current therapeutic strategies for GC and their applicability in the MSI subset are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC4248186  PMID: 25469011
Gastric cancer; Microsatellite instability; Mismatch repair genes; Oncogenes; Helicobacter pylori
3.  Water-induced modulation of Helicobacter pylori virulence properties 
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  2014;109(4):414-419.
While the influence of water in Helicobacter pylori culturability and membrane integrity has been extensively studied, there are little data concerning the effect of this environment on virulence properties. Therefore, we studied the culturability of water-exposed H. pylori and determined whether there was any relation with the bacterium’s ability to adhere, produce functional components of pathogenicity and induce inflammation and alterations in apoptosis in an experimental model of human gastric epithelial cells. H. pylori partially retained the ability to adhere to epithelial cells even after complete loss of culturability. However, the microorganism is no longer effective in eliciting in vitro host cell inflammation and apoptosis, possibly due to the non-functionality of the cag type IV secretion system. These H. pylori-induced host cell responses, which are lost along with culturability, are known to increase epithelial cell turnover and, consequently, could have a deleterious effect on the initial H. pylori colonisation process. The fact that adhesion is maintained by H. pylori to the detriment of other factors involved in later infection stages appears to point to a modulation of the physiology of the pathogen after water exposure and might provide the microorganism with the necessary means to, at least transiently, colonise the human stomach.
PMCID: PMC4155841  PMID: 25075780
Helicobacter pylori; virulence properties; water; culturability; infection
4.  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.
PMCID: PMC3502994  PMID: 23035185
5.  Crosstalk between Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Epithelial Cells Is Impaired by Docosahexaenoic Acid 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60657.
H. pylori colonizes half of the world's population leading to gastritis, ulcers and gastric cancer. H. pylori strains resistant to antibiotics are increasing which raises the need for alternative therapeutic approaches. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to decrease H. pylori growth and its associated-inflammation through mechanisms poorly characterized. We aimed to explore DHA action on H. pylori-mediated inflammation and adhesion to gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and also to identify bacterial structures affected by DHA. H. pylori growth and metabolism was assessed in liquid cultures. Bacterial adhesion to AGS cells was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and quantified by an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Inflammatory proteins were assessed by immunoblotting in infected AGS cells, previously treated with DHA. Bacterial total and outer membrane protein composition was analyzed by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Concentrations of 100 µM of DHA decreased H. pylori growth, whereas concentrations higher than 250 µM irreversibly inhibited bacteria survival. DHA reduced ATP production and adhesion to AGS cells. AGS cells infected with DHA pre-treated H. pylori showed a 3-fold reduction in Interleukin-8 (IL-8) production and a decrease of COX2 and iNOS. 2D electrophoresis analysis revealed that DHA changed the expression of H. pylori outer membrane proteins associated with stress response and metabolism and modified bacterial lipopolysaccharide phenotype. As conclusions our results show that DHA anti-H. pylori effects are associated with changes of bacteria morphology and metabolism, and with alteration of outer membrane proteins composition, that ultimately reduce the adhesion of bacteria and the burden of H. pylori-related inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3618039  PMID: 23577140
6.  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.
PMCID: PMC3328494  PMID: 22529974
7.  Quantitative Detection of Helicobacter pylori Gene Expression In Vivo and Relationship to Gastric Pathology 
Infection and Immunity  2000;68(10):5488-5495.
The iceA locus of Helicobacter pylori includes one of two mutually exclusive gene families, iceA1 and iceA2. Colonization with iceA1 strains is associated with enhanced acute mucosal inflammation, and adherence to gastric epithelial cells in vitro induces expression of iceA1 but not iceA2 mRNA; however, both transcripts can be detected in vivo. The aim of this study was to determine whether differing levels of iceA transcription in vivo may contribute to disease pathogenesis. RNA from 41 H. pylori-positive gastric biopsy specimens was reverse transcribed to cDNA. Quantitative PCR was performed using biotinylated iceA1, iceA2, and 16S rRNA primers, and binding of biotinylated products to streptavidin-coated plates was detected by hybridization with a fluorescein-labeled probe. iceA genotypes were determined by PCR and sequence analysis. All 41 samples contained detectable H. pylori 16S rRNA, with similar levels in iceA1- (n = 10) and iceA2 (n = 31)-colonized patients (P = 0.34). Biopsy specimens from four (40%) and 19 (61%) persons colonized with iceA1 or iceA2 strains, respectively, had detectable iceA RNA. Acute inflammatory scores were significantly higher in iceA1 RNA-positive patients than in iceA1 RNA-negative, iceA2 RNA-positive, or iceA2 RNA-negative subjects (P ≤ 0.05 for each). Within the iceA2 RNA-positive group, H. pylori strains with a single 35-amino-acid cassette were associated with significantly higher mucosal iceA2 transcript levels (P = 0.014 versus strains with two cassettes). These results indicate that the levels of transcription of H. pylori iceA1 and iceA2 and of 16S rRNA are independent and that particular iceA2 gene structures are associated with enhanced transcription. The finding that iceA1 transcription levels are significantly associated with the intensity of neutrophilic infiltration suggests that heterogeneity in inflammatory scores among persons colonized with H. pylori iceA1 strains reflects levels of iceA1 transcription in vivo.
PMCID: PMC101496  PMID: 10992444

Results 1-7 (7)