The status of the cagA gene does not predict Helicobacter pylori-associated peptic ulcer disease in Singapore

Microbios. 2000;102(402):113-20.


Discrepancies among reports from different geographical regions worldwide on the association between the presence of cagA and peptic ulcer disease prompted this study on the predictive value of the cagA gene in Helicobacter pylori-associated gastroduodenal diseases in the Singapore population. H. pylori strains were obtained from 169 patients with a peptic ulcer, 83 with non-ulcer dyspepsia, and nine with gastric cancer. The presence of the cagA gene was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The expected 400 bp PCR product coding for the cagA gene was present in 232/261 (89%) H. pylori isolates. Of these, 151/169 (89%) strains from patients with peptic ulcer, 73/83 (88%) strains from patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia and 8/9 (89%) strains from cancer patients were positive for the cagA gene. There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of cagA-positive strains from patients with distinct clinical outcomes (p > 0.05). The prevalence of cagA-positive strains in the Singapore population is high regardless of clinical disease status. The results suggest that the cagA gene is not a universal virulence marker of H. pylori.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Peptic Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Genetic Markers
  • cagA protein, Helicobacter pylori