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Analysis and typing of the vacA gene from cagA-positive strains of Helicobacter pylori isolated in Japan

Analysis and typing of the vacA gene from cagA-positive strains of Helicobacter pylori isolated in Japan

Journal of Clinical Microbiology 35(7): 1710-1714

Approximately 50% of Helicobacter pylori strains produce a cytotoxin that is encoded by vacA and that induces vacuolation of eukaryotic cells. Mosaicism in vacA alleles was reported, and there are three different families of vacA signal sequences (s1a, s1b, and s2) and two different families of middle-region alleles (ml and m2). In addition, the vacA genotype of a strain is associated with its cytotoxin phenotype and its capacity to induce peptic ulceration. To clarify the strain diversity of H. pylori in Japan, 87 Japanese clinical isolates of H. pylori (40 from patients with chronic atrophic gastritis, 25 from patients with duodenal ulcer, 16 from patients with gastric ulcer, 3 from patients with both duodenal and gastric ulcers, and 3 from patients with intestinal type gastric cancer) were characterized by vacA typing by PCR and DNA sequencing. Eighty-four of the 87 isolates were s1a/m1, one was s1b/m1, and two could not be typed. Moreover, all isolates in this study were cagA positive. There were no distinct differences between the cytotoxin-producing strains and cytotoxin-nonproducing strains within the 0.73-kb middle region. Japanese strains were highly homologous, with more than 96% identity in this region, in which maximum divergence has been reported. In addition, there were no associations between the specific vacA types and the level of in vitro cytotoxin activity or the clinical consequences. These results indicate that the cagA-positive, s1a/m1-type strains are common in Japan, regardless of the vacA phenotype or clinical outcome.

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Accession: 008151957

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PMID: 9196179

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