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1.  Can Helicobacter pylori infection influence human reproduction? 
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection could be associated with extra-digestive diseases. Here, we report the evidences concerning the decrease in reproductive potential occurring in individuals infected by H. pylori, especially by strains expressing CagA. This infection is more prevalent in individuals with fertility disorders. Infected women have anti-H. pylori antibodies in cervical mucus and follicular fluid that may decrease sperm motility and cross react immunologically with spermatozoa, conceivably hampering the oocyte/sperm fusion. Infection by CagA positive organisms enhances the risk of preeclampsia, which is a main cause of foetus death. These findings are supported by the results of experimental infections of pregnant mice, which may cause reabsorption of a high number of foetuses and alter the balance between Th1 and Th2 cell response. Infected men have decreased sperm motility, viability and numbers of normally shaped sperm and augmented systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, which may damage spermatozoa. In countries where parasitic infestation is endemic, detrimental effects of infection upon spermatozoa may not occur, because the immune response to parasites could determine a switch from a predominant Th1 type to Th2 type lymphocytes, with production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, the evidences gathered until now should be taken into consideration for future studies aiming to explore the possible role of H. pylori infection on human reproduction.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i19.5567
PMCID: PMC4024765  PMID: 24914316
Antigenic mimicry; Helicobacter pylori infection; Human sperm; Inflammatory cytokines; Preeclampsia; Reproductive disorders
2.  Polysorbate 80 and Helicobacter pylori: a microbiological and ultrastructural study 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:217.
Background
The frequent occurrence of chemoresistant strains reduces the chances of eradication of H. pylori infection and prompted the investigation of non-antibiotic substances active against this organism. Some surfactants enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics for their permeabilizing properties towards bacteria. We examined the antimicrobial activity to H. pylori of the surfactant polysorbate 80, used alone and in association with amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, levofloxacin and tetracycline. We also aimed to study the ultrastructural alterations caused upon H. pylori by polysorbate 80, alone and in combination with antibiotics. Twenty-two H. pylori strains were tested using the broth dilution method. After incubation, broth from each dilution was subcultured onto agar enriched with foetal bovine serum to determine the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). Synergistic effect of polysorbate 80 with antibiotics was investigated by the broth dilution and disc diffusion techniques. Ultrastructural alterations of organisms treated with polysorbate 80, alone and in association with antibiotics were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy.
Results
MBCs of polysorbate 80 ranged from 2.6 (1.1) μg/ml to 32 (0) μg/ml. Polysorbate 80 exerted a synergistic effect when associated with metronidazole and clarithromycin: polysorbate 80 and metronidazole MBCs decreased by ≥ 4 fold; clarithromycin MBCs for two resistant strains decreased by 20 and 1000 times. The principal alteration caused by polysorbate 80 consisted in the detachment of the outer membrane of bacteria.
Conclusions
The bactericidal activity of polysorbate 80 and the synergistic effect of the association with metronidazole and clarithromycin could be useful in the treatment of H. pylori infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-217
PMCID: PMC3537525  PMID: 22998649
Bacteria; Antibiotics; Chemoresistances; Polysorbate 80; Transmission electron microscopy
3.  The presence of bacteria species in semen and sperm quality 
Purpose
To verify the prevalence of semen bacterial contamination and whether the contamination could decrease sperm quality.
Methods
Spermiogram, semen culture, and sperm transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis were performed. TEM data were elaborated using a mathematical formula that calculates a fertility index (FI)—able to define patients as fertile or infertile—and the percentage of sperm apoptosis, immaturity and necrosis. We aligned the amino acid sequence of beta-tubulin with protein of the most frequent species isolated from semen.
Results
Patients were divided according to the contaminating species; in each group, we observed fertile individuals, in whom the semen quality was similar to that of controls and infertile men whose sperm quality was significantly decreased, in terms of motility, FI, apoptosis and necrosis. Partial homology between β-tubulin and bacterial proteins was observed.
Conclusion
Sperm bacterial contamination is quite frequent and could contribute to the deterioration of the sperm quality of infertile men.
doi:10.1007/s10815-008-9283-5
PMCID: PMC2649329  PMID: 19089609
Bacteria; Semen quality; Spermatozoa; TEM
4.  H pylori infection and systemic antibodies to CagA and heat shock protein 60 in patients with coronary heart disease 
AIM: To determine the overall prevalence of H pylori and CagA positive H pylori infection and the prevalence of other bacterial and viral causes of chronic infection in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), and the potential role of anti-heat-shock protein 60 (Hsp60) antibody response to these proteins in increasing the risk of CHD development.
METHODS: Eighty patients with CHD and 160 controls were employed. We also compared the levels of anti-heat-shock protein 60 (Hsp60) antibodies in the two groups. The H pylori infection and the CagA status were determined serologically, using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and a Western blotting method developed in our laboratory. Systemic antibodies to Hsp60 were determined by a sandwich ELISA, using a polyclonal antibody to Hsp60 to sensitise polystyrene plates and a commercially available human Hsp60 as an antigen.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of H pylori infection was 78.7% (n = 63) in patients and 76.2% (n = 122) in controls (P = 0.07). Patients infected by CagA-positive (CagA+) H pylori strains were 71.4% (n = 45) vs 52.4% of infected controls (P = 0.030, OR = 2.27). Systemic levels of IgG to Hsp60 were increased in H pylori-negative patients compared with uninfected controls (P < 0.001) and CagA-positive infected patients compared with CagA-positive infected controls (P = 0.007).
CONCLUSION: CagA positive H pylori infection may concur to the development of CHD; high levels of anti-Hsp60 antibodies may constitute a marker and/or a concomitant pathogenic factor of the disease.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v12.i48.7815
PMCID: PMC4087548  PMID: 17203526
H pylori; Coronary heart disease; CagA protein; Heat shock protein 60; Antibody response

Results 1-4 (4)