Key importance of the Helicobacter pylori adherence factor blood group antigen binding adhesin during chronic gastric inflammation

Christian Prinz, Martin Schöniger, Roland Rad, Ingrid Becker, Erwin Keiditsch, Stephan Wagenpfeil, Meinhard Classen, Thomas Rösch, Wolfgang Schepp, Markus Gerhard

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142 Scopus citations


Helicobacter prlori has been assigned as a class 1 carcinogen because of its relation to gastric adenocarcinoma. Chronic H. pylori infection may lead to severe gastritis, glandular atrophy (AT), and intestinal metaplasia (IM). Strains secreting the vacuolating toxin VacA and producing the cytotoxin-associated antigen CagA (type 1 strains), as well as the blood group antigen binding adhesin (BabA) targeting Lewis antigens, have been associated previously with distal gastric adenocarcinoma (M. Gerhard et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96: 12778-12783, 1999) and may therefore also be related to lesions preceding gastric cancer. Antral and corpus biopsies were collected from 451 patients; 151 were H. pylori positive, as determined by PCR. Gastric biopsies were histologically evaluated for activity of gastritis (G0-G3, granulocyte infiltration), chronicity of gastritis (L1-L3, lymphocyte infiltration), and the presence of IM and/or AT according to the Sydney classification. Simultaneously, the presence of bacterial genes encoding virulence and adherence factors (vacAs1/s2, cagA, and babA2) was determined by PCR. The presence of cagA + and vacAs1 (alone or combined) both correlated with activity and chronicity of gastritis (P < 0.05); however, the overall prevalence of these genes was 60 or 72%, respectively, and was thus relatively frequent. The babA2 gene, encoding the adhesin BabA, was detected in 38% of infected patients and was correlated with the activity of gastritis in antrum and corpus (P < 0.005). cagA +/vacAs1+ strains (suggesting the presence of type 1 strains) that were also babA2 positive were detected more frequently in patients with severe histological alterations (such as G3, IM, or AT) compared with subjects without these changes (P < 0.01). cagA+/vacAs1 + strains that were babA2 negative, however, lacked a significant correlation with severe histological changes, activity, or chronicity of gastritis in antrum and corpus. Adherence of H. pylori via BabA appears to be of importance for efficient delivery of VacA and CagA and may play a special role in the pathogenesis of severe histological changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1909
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2001


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